The Miners’ Association of Nigeria (MAN) has lamented the mining sector’s lack of proper funding, claiming that the Federal Government has failed to adequately execute over N11.2 billion in mining intervention funds. At a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday, Musa Muhammad, the Acting National President of MAN, stated this.
“The Federal Government has announced one intervention or the other for the Nigerian mining industry in the previous decade without sign of implementation,” he stated in his address.
He then listed three current funds: an N5 billion BOI intervention fund for artisanal and small-scale miners, an N6 billion post-COVID-19 intervention fund, and an N200 million small-scale miners fund.
The interim National MAN President stated that the lack of an intervention fund was harming artisanal and small-scale miners, who oversaw 90% of mining activity in Nigeria.
Muhammad encouraged the Federal Government to give the solid minerals industry the same attention and financing methods that it gives to agriculture. The miners also advocated for the formation of the Solid Mineral Growth Bank, which would address miners’ demands and ensure that they had access to the capital needed for the sector’s development. According to the miners, because mining activities were capital-intensive, this bank could provide loans to miners at a two-digit interest rate.
The miners also called for a reconsideration of the 100% mining asset ownership policy granted to foreign nationals to reduce instability in the country. Muhammad stressed the importance of the Federal Government reviewing the policy, which had given foreigners uncontrolled access to mining sites around the nation.
He also stated that one of the sector’s biggest difficulties is a lack of enforcement capacity in terms of personnel, logistical, and infrastructure. He went on to say that the lack of growth in the industry, as well as the existence of all types of illegality and criminality, might be attributed to this.