FG reiterates commitment to address challenges in extractive sector

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The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has restated the Federal Government’s determination to address challenges in the extractive mineral sector.

The Permanent Secretary, Abdulkadir Muazu, who gave the assurance on Monday in Abuja at a roundtable on “Promoting Sustainability in the Extractive’’ sector said that the Federal Government was taking steps to address the challenges in the sector.

He added that the ministry had set up a roadmap for short and medium term development of the extractive sector with appropriate growth indicators.

According to him, the aim of the roadmap is to increase contributions of mining Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 0.33 per cent in 2016, to three per cent (GDP) in 2025.

The permanent secretary said this would be achieved through addressing key constraints to mining sector growth and development adding that efforts were also being made to ensure that the mining sector became environmentally friendly and available to investors irrespective of the constraints.

According to him, the Federal Government has inaugurated a N2.5 billion seed fund with the Bank of Industry (BOI) with a counterpart amount of N2.5 billion as revolving loan for operators in the sector.

Muazu explained that the establishment and restructuring of the solid minerals development fund had also picked up, saying that government had provided a seed fund of more than N600 billion for the take-off of activities in the sector.

“As we speak, issue of insufficient geo-data is being addressed and expert consulting firms are on the field conducting detailed geological exploration.

“This will help to determine the quantum of mineral deposits across the six geo political zones of the country,’’ he added.

Peace PIAK