Samuel Bello, Abuja
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, has warned security agencies on the dangers of arriving late to security threats at mining sites.
Bwari said although efforts in de-risking the sector has gradually improved ease of doing business, but drastic measure still needed to be taken.
The minister who stated this at the handing over ceremony yesterday in Abuja, also urged professionals and staff of the ministry to stop playing second fiddle and turn the fortunes of the minerals and metal sector around.
“I will like to crave the indulgence of our security agencies to respond quickly to security threats at mining sites. We have also increased the number of vehicles to monitor operations in the sector and ensure prompt payment of revenues,” he said.
According to him, the ministry has laid a solid foundation for the sector and its left for professionals to build on its successes.
He said, “I am confident that as professionals you have the ability to turn the fortunes of the minerals and metals sector around, but you must brace up and stop playing second fiddle.
“We have laid a solid foundation for the sector and it is now left for you to build on our successes. I want to urge you, as management and staff of this ministry, to keep the momentum going.
Bwari, while encouraging staffs, also outlined the ministry’s achievements in three and a half years.
“Our efforts in de-risking the sector has gradually improved our ease of doing business ranking. Security at our mines field has improved with the establishment of a Special Mines Surveillance Task Force who are well trained and equipped with the necessary tools to check illegal mining.
In all humility, this administration has been kind to this sector and I can proudly say we are leaving it better than we found it. We are leaving it with better funding mechanism, including a 5 billion naira loan scheme for artisanal and small scale miners at very cheap rates.