The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has generated more than N9 billion from November 2015 till date. Alhaji Abubakar Bwari, the Minister of State disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja. Bwari said that the ministry generated N351,882,084.26 from November to December in 2015, N2,864,903,426.32 in 2016, N3,925,028,183.90 in 2017 and N2,060,441,736. 62 in 2018.
“When Dr Kayode Fayemi and I assumed duty in November 2015, we set an agenda to move the sector forward in line with President Muhammadu Buhari diversification plan and to boost the revenue of the ministry,” he said.
On success made by the sector through its budgetary allocation, he said that tremendous improvement had been recorded by the sector in the past two years.NAN recalls that in 2015, the capital appropriated for the ministry was N704 million and the amount released was N302 million.
In 2016, N2.6 billion was appropriated and what was released to the sector was N917 million.In 2017, N6,48 billion was appropriated for the ministry but N3.24 billion was released to the sector.He said that the ministry’s budget for 2017 was able to meet some of its needs, adding that it could conveniently provide logistics to its officers across the country.
“We can now give our officers money to monitor activities at all mine sites across the country from our budget, unlike in the past when the ministry’s budget was grossly inadequate.“The ministry also purchased vehicles for its officers across the country as well as surveillance taskforce to monitor illegal miners and mineral’s smugglers among others.”
Bwari said that the ministry has concluded arrangements to disburse another N70 million to some universities to conduct Research and Development of minerals deposits across the country.NAN reports that the fund being disbursed to some universities is the second batch of the programme.
In July, the minister disbursed N84 million to11 universities to conduct research and development of minerals deposits in Nigeria.The universities were required to conduct research and development in various areas relating to mapping and evaluation of particular mineral deposits in Nigeria.The 11 universities that benefitted from the fund in the first batch were, Obafemi Awolowo University, Federal University of Technology, Minna, and the University of Nigeria, Nsuka.
Others include, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Ibrahim Badamasi Babagida University, Niger, University of Port Harcourt, University of Jos, University of Lagos, Nasarawa State University, University of Ibadan and Ebonyi State University.