FEDERAL Government
assures of its commitment
to see to the revival of the
abandoned National Iron
Ore Mining Company
Limited, NIOMCO,
the management of
the organisation has
identified lack of
perimeter fencing as huge
threat to its equipment.
The management,
however, said that it
is poised to secure the
over $1 billion Federal
Government investment.
Sole Administrator/
Chief Executive of
NIOMCO, Mr. Bernard
Nnagha, who raised the
alarm while speaking
to a delegation of
Mining Reporters led
by Chief of Staff to the
Minister of Mines and
Steel Development,
Mr. O’Seun Odewale in
Itakpe, Kogi State, noted
that the vast expanse
of 8,000 hectares had
been difficult to police.
He disclosed that
management, in
collaboration with the
police and Nigeria
Security and Civil Defence
Corps, NSCDC, has
engaged 30 local vigilante
guards to provide security.
NIOMCO was abandoned
over eight years ago
following ownership
issues occasioned
by privatisation.
According to Nnagha,
“with the continued
support of the Minister,
management is currently
doing everything to
secure and maintain the
over $1 billion Federal
Government investment
at NIOMCO, despite the
challenging vast expanse of
over 8,000 hectares of land,
remote location, bushy
environment, absence
of perimeter fencing
and funds constraints”.
Meanwhile, the Federal
Government, at the
weekend, disclosed
that the mining sector
contributed N2 billion
to the Gross Domestic
Product, GDP in 2016
from the N700 million
obtainable when the
President Muhammadu
Buhari administration
assumed office.
Chief of Staff/
Technical Assistant to
Minister of Mining and
Steel Development,
Mr. O’Seun Odewale,
made the disclosure at
a three-day training
workshop for journalists
in Lokoja, Kogi State.
He attributed the
additional N1.3 billion
generated from mining
royalties and licence
fees to the ongoing
strategic reforms in
the sector introduced
by the leadership of
Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The Minister’s aide also
said the dormant Solid
Minerals Development
Fund has been
reconstituted with the
Federal Executive Council
approving N30 billion
intervention for the fund.
Odewale disclosed that
the Federal Government was
sourcing the sum of $600
million from a consortium
of the World Bank, African
Development Bank and
others, for the development
of the mining sector.
He explained that
expectation of government
is to grow the sector at 7
per cent in the next 10
years so that the current
abysmal .33 per cent
contribution to GDP could
hit 3 per cent by 2025.
In his presentation,
a former Director of
Mines Inspectorate
in the Ministry, Mr.
Dauda Awojobi, said
that government was
encouraging artisanal
miners to form
cooperatives and make
their operations legal.
He added that a taskforce
has been set up in all the
states to curb illegal mining
while a collaboration with
Nigeria Customs Service,
NCS is also checking illegal
export of solid minerals.

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