The Senate Committee on Solid Minerals Development has commended the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and his team for the improvement in the revenue profile in the mining sector in 2016, which rose from N700 million to over N2 billion.
Its chairman, Senator James Manager, who gave this commendation during a visit by the committee members to the ministry, as part of their over sight function, said they have performed well in increasing the revenue profile of the sector from N700 million to over N2billion in 2016.
He described the minister as a man of vision who in spite of the inherent challenges in the sector has taken the sector to a higher level.
Senator Manager expressed happiness that the sum of N30 billion has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari from the Natural Resource Development Fund for the solid minerals sector, pointing out that if the approved fund was appropriated in the 2017 budget, the ministry’s revenue profile would definitely increase.
The chairman, therefore, pledged the committee’s unfailing support and partnership for the minister and his team to achieve more for the sector, pleading that the approved roadmap for the sector should be religiously followed to make Nigeria a mining destination.
Earlier, Dr. Fayemi lauded the members for their interest in the sector, saying his ministry has translated President’ Buhari’s vision of diversifying the economy through the mining sector into a roadmap. He said that the roadmap has since been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
He said the recent approval of N30 billion intervention fund from the Natural Resources Development Fund was the first of its kind for the sector.
He spoke on the challenges of the sector which included inadequate funding, late release of budgetary allocation, huge backlog of debts and technical, as well as skill capacity gaps and lack of project vehicles for field officers in the state offices.
The project vehicles, according to him, were last purchased in 2006.
He, therefore, solicited the assistance and input from the senators to improve and transform the mining sector in Nigeria.