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Diversification: FG To Set Up Intervention Fund For Mining

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Saturday, May 7th, 2016
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Determined to realise its plan to diversify the economy and create jobs through the solid minerals sector, the Federal Government has put in place arrangement for the setting up of an intervention mining fund.

According to the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, the fund is designed as incentives for local miners and investors in the bid to stimulate growth in the sector.

The Minister, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Yinka Oyebode, made the disclosure during a breakfast meeting organised by the Stanbic IBTC Bank with investors in the Iron and Steel sector, in Lagos at the weekend.

Fayemi said the ministry was already working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Bankers Committee and the Bank of Industry to achieve this.

He said the intervention fund is part of the incentives government is putting in place  to increase local production.

He said the ministry is committed to exploiting the nation’s mineral endowments in an environmentally sustainable manner and establish a vibrant minerals and metal industry for wealth creation, poverty reduction, promotion of economic growth and significant contribution to the country’s GDP.

Fayemi decried a situation where the country currently imports an estimated $3.3 billion of processed steel and associated derivatives representing 80 per cent of the $4.2 billion total metal products imported per year.

He said despite the country’s relatively robust iron ore reserves, there are only 30 steel rolling mills in the country with combined installed capacity of 6.5MT/annum. Only 18 are operational, producing about 2.8 MT/annum using 100 per cent scrap metal.

He said the government would realise its plan for a major turn around in the sector,  through a strategic support for the local and foreign investors as well as creating enabling environments, through the right policy, for mining activities.

The Minister lauded a few banks that have set up solid minerals desks and urged others to look into that direction as well.

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