ABUJA – (Mines & Steel Development Ministry Report) – The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the School of International Public Affairs of the Columbia University, United States of America are to partrner on ways to enhance government’s effort geared towards formalizing the funding of Artisanal and Small -Scale mining in Nigeria.
This was the high point of the discussion between the officials of the Ministry and a team of scholars of the Columbia University led by Christine Capilouto, who paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari on the 21st of March 2019 in Abuja.
The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mu’azu Abdulkadir (Dr) informed the team about the efforts being made to reposition the Mining Sector, noting that Nigeria is endowed with different solid mineral resources virtually found in every state of the federation.
He further said that the sector for long has been dominated by artisanal miners, who lack the prerequisite technical skills and finance to contribute meaningfully to the economy, but that government has taken steps to tackle this and other identified challenges, including the lack of comprehensive data, insufficient funding and insecurity. Abubakar Bwari described the collaboration with the university as a welcome development, indicating that the support will boost the efforts towards transforming the Artisanal and Small- Scale mining industry.
The team lead by Christine Capilouto, while appreciating the officials of the Ministry for the reception accorded them, said that the choice of Nigeria for such partnership was as a result of the giant strides made by government in revamping the mining sector. She stressed that apart from helping in generating data in the sector, the University is willing to provide capacity building services.