Nigeria mulls expansion of N200m small scale miners’ fund

Considering the success of the N200 million fund disbursed to artisanal miners, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development may expand the programme to benefit more small scale miners.
Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development said that the over N3.2 billion mining intervention fund which was domiciled with the Bank of Industry (BOI) was an intervention by the Federal Government to boost mining activities in Nigeria.
He said that the initial fund was N2.5 billion but it had accrued interest in the bank and N200 million out of the interest was disbursed as loan to small scale and artisanal miners.
“When it was set up, it was that from a minimum of N10 million to N100 million maximum people can access at five per cent interest rates, and we have had some success story.
“What we now realised was that there were a lot of small others, artisanal miners, small scale miners, who do not even need up to N10 million, which was the minimum.
“So, they were excluded because you say minimum N10 million, maximum N100 million and you know the way banking is, if you want to take N10 million from a bank, the collateral is times two minimum.
“But there are some artisanal miners there that all they want to enhance their activity is to buy a water pump, so that they have water to wash their oars, so they can bring out what they need a bump of N500,000, that is all they need someone to buy for them.


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