Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development says N328 million is earmarked to purchase 38 Nissan Hillux vehicles for 36 states and the FCT to improve mining surveillance. The minister said this at the unveiling of the vehicles on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the Federal Government had set aside the utility vans for field inspection and monitoring of mining operations across the country.
“The overall purpose for purchasing the vehicles was to ease mobility, enhance in-field analysis and facilitate effective discharge of mines inspectorate services.
“The vehicles are made available to improve other regulatory duties of the technical departments of the ministry,’’ Fayemi said.
He said the 37 vehicles would be shared among the 36 states and the FCT, while the remaining one would be left at the ministry for utility duties.
Fayemi described the development as historic as according to him, “the ministry is for the first time since creation procuring such large fleet of vehicles for use.’’
“The execution of these vehicles procurement project is therefore a clear demonstration of the commitment of this administration to our strategic goal of repositioning the mining sector for greater productivity.
“One of our objectives is to strengthen the ministry with the requisite capacity and capabilities to deliver on our mandate,’’ he said. Fayemi said that the procurement of these vehicles had successfully addressed the challenges of logistical support for field operations of the technical departments of the ministry.
“This development will result in the scaling up of the capacity of the departments for the effective discharge of statutory duties and functions such as prompt monitoring of all mining/quarrying operations,’’ he said.
He said that the vehicles would help mines artisanal officers to have close monitoring of artisanal and small scale mining operations. He added that the vehicles would ensure closer surveillance of the mines fields to identify and curb illegal mining activities.
“From January next year, I expect to start seeing the positive impact of this investment in terms of increased revenue generation, reduction in the number of illegal mining incidences,’’ Fayemi said. He urged the officers to use the vehicles strictly for the official duties.
Fayemi also inaugurated a 26-man Mining Implementation and Strategy Team (MIST) saddled with the responsibility to oversee and provide the leadership in the implementation of mining roadmap of the ministry.
The ministry on March 1 set up a multi-stakeholder committee with the mandate to script the roadmap for the development and growth of the sector. The draft roadmap was submitted on March 31 and subsequently shared with state governors among others stakeholders for extensive validation process.
He said that a number of ideas that emanated from this validation process and submissions from states and sector operators were incorporated into the roadmap approved by FEC on Aug. 31 “I am indeed grateful to the members of the roadmap committee as well as other industry players who provided invaluable contribution toward the production and validation of the Roadmap.
“Our national mining growth strategy is now richer and the MIST is a key recommendation in the roadmap,’’ he said.
The minister also urged the committee to identify key low cost and low hurdle actions to be implemented to speedily revive the mining sector, among others.
The committee is responsible for informing the secretariat and the implementation office on execution of actionable items and priorities contained in the roadmap.