Mining: Bwari Inspects Exploration Project in Niger State
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, has expressed satisfaction on progress made on the multi-billion naira exploration project in Kuchiko, Suleja in Niger State. The N15 billion minerals exploration project is part of the efforts geared toward revamping the mining sector.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of mineral exploration of AG Vision Ltd on Monday, 8th April, 2019, the Honourable Minister of State Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari stated that the project shows President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration commitment in the diversification of the economy, using Solid Minerals Sector as the arrowhead.
According to the Minister, the project is designed to be executed and funded in phases, from Desktop studies to integration of data reporting that would build a foundation for modern mining activities in the Country.
On the Federal Government directives on stoppage of mining activities in Zamfara State, the Minister allays fears of stakeholders, saying that it is for a short time and safety of all. He said the Ministry is doing everything possible to ensure miners comply with the directives.
‘’We are already communicating with miners because it is not easy to close down mining site within 48 hours. We believe it will not last long as the situation would soon be brought under control. While pursuing our economic activities we should consider the safety of lives and properties of the people, so the closure will be in the interest of the communities and the investors,’’ He said.
In his remarks, Chairman, House Committee on Solid Minerals, Hon. Aminu Hashimu Mani commended the Ministry’s efforts in developing the Mining Sector to become investor friendly and revenue generating.
He said the House will continue to give the Ministry the necessary support to grow the sector.
Speaking also, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu, said that the project is a further proof of government determination to tap the abundant mineral resources for economic growth and development.
He disclosed that the Federal Government is investing a lot of money in the sector to create the enabling environment for investors, as well as empowering the artisanal miners to become viable entrepreneurs that would add value to the sector and contribute to national development.
The Director General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Dr. Abdul Hamid Garba, said that this is one of the pilot projects by the Federal Government to generate data information that would bridge the gap between exploration data and mining development. Also, he said the aim of the project is to de-risk the sector of factors hindering the development of the solid mineral mining in the country.
He highlighted the components of the project to include identification of mineral deposit from various communities, production of data in line with international best practices with a view to developing a highly and robust geo-data base for mineral resources in the country.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of AG Vision Mining Ltd, Mr Fadi Abou Ghazale, appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in actualising this dream, noting that the project is a better opportunity of getting relevant information on available mineral resources and development of the communities.
He disclosed that his company and the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) are currently carrying out exploration activities in many states such as Niger, Ogun and Oyo states, Abuja, Kebbi and Zamfara States.
His Royal Highness, the Emir of Suleja, Mallam Awwal Ibrahim who was represented by Alhaji Muhammed Halil Dan Iyan Zazzau, Suleja, said that illegal mining activities have been a major problem in the area, and pledged to support government towards curtailing it.
He appealed to government to put in place social infrastructures such as school, road and provisions of pipe borne water amongst others in the community.
Hauwa J. Bala
For: Director (Press)