By Abubakar Baba Ahmad
The Federal Government says it is working with state governments and key stakeholders to initiate new policies that would ease access and attract people into the mining sector.
The Director General Nigeria Mining Cadastre office Engineer Obadiah Nkom gave the indication during a stakeholders workshop on formalisation and mainstreaming of Artisanal and Small Scale miners in the northeast subregion held in Bauchi.
Engineer Obadiah Nkom who was represented by the Acting Director Registry Abdulmajid Ibrahim said the policy which seeks to ease management and monitoring of mineral resources in the country will also accelerate economic growth at the grassroots level.
He urged artisanal and small-scale miners to take advantage of the different streams of assistance and extension services provided by government in the mining industry.
Earlier the Director Artisanal and Small scale mining Federal Ministry for Mines and Steel development Mr Ojeka Patrick represented by Mr Nnamdi Anene said government encourages the establishment of Private Mineral Buying centres, encourage value addition of the commodity and improve pricing of the products.
Mr Ojeka Patrick further disclosed that the formalisation of ASM operators will help government to regulate and provide social and technical incentives in form of extension services to formalised and active ASM cooperatives.
In separate remarks the Bauchi State Commissioner of Cooperative and SMEs Modibbo Abdulkadir and the representative of Commissioner Natural resources Isa Tahir expressed government determination to mainstream local miners by creating cooperatives to ease access of securing mining license.
The State Chairman Miners Association of Nigeria MAN Alhaji Musa Santuraki Pali said the workshop is apt as majority of local miners have little or no knowledge about the laws and activities in the mining sector.
Alhaji Musa Pali used the medium to advise government on the need to pay more attention to mining towards improving revenue generation and overcoming the current economic challenges facing the nation.
The Workshop is a collaborative effort between the Federal government, Bauchi State government, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and fiscal commission, Australian Alumni Association in Nigeria and other key stakeholders in the sector.