From Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Licensed small scale miners in the country have announced the conclusion of arrangements to inaugurate their North Central regional office and the launch of a website to facilitate increase in revenue generation in partnership with governments and agencies in Friday, March 26.
Speaking with reporters in Ilorin, the president of the Association of Licensed Small Scale Mining Operators of Nigeria (ALSSMON), Prince Olugbenga Ajala, said that successful implementation of the information technology facility is also meant to ease mining operations among small scale mining operators, government and other relevant stakeholders in the sector for improved community development and social infrastructure.
The association, which reiterated needed cooperation between the small scale miners, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel and the Kwara State Government, said that the relationship is a win-win one for the parties, with prospect for the Nigerian economy.
He also asked operators in the nation’s banking sector to collaborate with the association, saying that ‘bankers would be of great assistance to small scale miners in the area of provision of structured loan using non conventional collateral such as mined products as collateral security while involving an authorised mineral buying centres in the financing process to aid miners in their bid to procure mining equipments, among other sundry operational issues.’
Ajala appealed to registered miners to ensure success of the website with their cooperation, calling on mining operators who are yet to register to be part of the epic event and the president also to identified a bottleneck in impeding small scale miners in accessing BOI loans that needs to be rectified is that BOI is ony insisted in financing brand new minning equipment whereas the small miners has given their banks 100 percent bank guarantee collateral already secured by the properties and BOI should grant them access to buy used equipment once BOI exposure has been fully covered by the customers bank guarantee.
‘The website for the association is meant to showcase all information about mining and mining operators in the country and all other information which the government can make use in getting more information about small scale miners. It will also include needs of the operators and how government can be of help to them with the overall goal of strengthening the revenue generation and capacity of government through access to data base of operating scale miners in the country,’ he said.