Mining: Local operators to benefit from N30bn intervention fund ―FG

THE Federal Government, on Wednesday, promised to commit part of the N30 billion Mining Intervention Fund to support the local operators in Nigeria.

This commitment, according to the government, would enable them scale up their operations and bridge the importation gap.

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi disclosed in Kaduna, while inspecting quarrying facilities at CIBI Nigeria Limited’s quarry site in Buruku, Kaduna State.

In a statement authorized by his Special Assistant on Media, Olayinka Oyebode, a copy of which was made available to the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja, Dr. Fayemi said, part of the fund would be drawn from the World Bank loan and the N30 billion Mining Intervention Fund approved by the Federal Executive Council last year, among others.

He said the ministry has entered into a partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI) to offer loan facilities from the intervention funds to serious operators who were already producing and who required assistance to increase the scope of their operation.

The minister stated that companies who were into production of quality tiles would benefit from the fund with a view to positioning them to increase their production, compete favourably and help reduce dependence on imported tiles.

“We are working with the BOI to disburse the loans as soon as the intervention funds are released to serious tile producers across the country,” he said.

Dr. Fayemi said the companies like CIBI Nigeria Limited would have been able to produce more than 200,000 square metres it currently produced annually from dimension stones, if adequate resources, including finance, equipment and others were available.

He stressed that Nigeria needed about four million square metres of tiles annually, adding that all the local tile producers could only produce less than a million annually.

The minister lamented that the bulk of tiles being used in Nigeria were imported from Italy, China and India, pointing out that there was an urgent need to support local operators as captured in Mining roadmap drawn by the ministry.

According to him, “we are endowed with lots of mineral resources, we have dimension stones everywhere but not exploited; there is no stone we don’t have in Nigeria”.

Also speaking, the Chairman of CIBI Nigeria Limited, Architect Nuhu Wya, urged the government to support its project, as there were more demands for tiles but it lacked sufficient capital to expand the business.

He said that the company usually received market orders from its customers two months before production.

“If investment put in oil industry is replicated in solid minerals, Nigeria does not need to depend on oil as its mainstay because we are blessed with mineral stones abundantly”, he added


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