MINISTER of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday, disclosed that the Board of Solid Mineral Development Fund (SMDF) will be allowed to administer the $600 million negotiation with the Nigeria Stock Exchange.
Dr Fayemi, who made this disclosure during the inauguration of SMDF board in his office in Abuja, said injection of such huge capital into the sector would help the present administration to diversify the economy as promised.
He said among the responsibilities of the board was to develop both human and physical capital capacity in the sector, and also arrange for funding for geo-scientific data gathering, storage as well as retrieval to meet the needs of private sector led mining industry.
According to him, the board is also expected to equip the mining institutions to enable them perform their stator functions, saying they should fund the extension services of scale and artisanal mining operators.
“I should also add that the members of the board must continue from where we are with the current negotiation of Solid Mineral Development Fund that we are currently discussing of $600 million injection into the sector and also with the Nigeria Stock Exchange that we are discussing the mining bond. These are the responsibility we are going to hand over to the board.
“The document projected to grow sectoral contributions to GDP from N103 bilion (2015) to N141 billion in 2020, at an average annual growth rate of 8.5 percent. Other targets for the sector include the facilitation of coal to power plants to contribute to our energy mix towards bridging our energy deficit.
“The committee is mandated to develop both human and physical capital capacity in the sector; funding for geo-scientific data gathering, storage as well as retrieval to meet the needs of private sector led mining industry”, he added.
The minister, therefore, announced the appointment of Hajia Fatima Shinkafi as the Executive Secretary and the Head of the Secretariat of the SMDF.
While appreciating the president on behalf of the committee in his acceptance speech, the Chairman of the board, Alhaji Uba Saidu Malami said the committee would ensure it was more innovative in all its responsibilities, promising that all the stakeholders in the sector would be carrying along.