From Uche Usim, Abuja
Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has advised potential miners to obtain a duly signed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report by certified government agencies before approaching the ministry for mining permits and licences.
Speaking in Abuja at the just concluded Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) conference, he said EIA report remained a major requirement as the ministry viewed environment preservation very seriously.
“No EIA report, no mining licence to avoid the issue of environmental degradation or devastatation and all that.
“You must submit an EIA report to us before we give you a licence. It does not matter whether you are a state own company or a private sector own company, you must meet the necessary requirements of the law,” he explained.
He lamented Nigeria’s low ranking on Fraser Mining Index, describing it as a call to duty that would ensure the country ranked better in the near future.
“We want Nigerians to do the right thing. Stop this illegal mining thing. Come to the government and get necessary documents and support.
“We have started a pilot scheme on access to finance projects for local miners, small scale miners particularly, N2.5 billion was set aside for that.
“The move is to encourage them grow the industry and that is to be managed via the Bank of Industry (BoI). We are not the one who will manage the money but BoI,” Fayemi said.