Federal Government said it had commenced partnership with the World Bank in a bid to assist artisanal miners formalised their activities for wealth creation and increased mining contribution to the government revenue base.
Olamilekan Adegbite, minister of mines and steel, informed in Abuja during the first public stakeholders meeting for the formalisation of artisanal miners that the World Bank would be employing the usage of remote sensing monitoring system and site detection to assist the miners formalise their activities and increase their earnings.
He said the method and assistance from the World Bank would ensure the artisanal miners adopt safer methods and way of plying their trade in such a way that assists them grow their operations in an orderly way.
“The government is concerned on the safety of these people and how best they could perform their operations without endangering their health status. Their current method of excavation is inimical to health and unsafe,” the minister said.
The government wants the artisanal miners to formalise their activities and have increased access to the solid mineral development fund, which has barely been accessed by the miners since its establishment last three years.
Speaking further, the permanent secretary in the Ministry, Sunday Edet Akpan, said more opportunities were now available for the miners if they formalise their activities since the Federal Government was working out a credit facility from the international development association to support economic diversification.
He noted that the project activities of formalising the activities of the artisanal miners are carefully designed to ensure that they could attract available funds to grow their venture.
He stated that initiative would ensure a creation of a global competitive sector that grows the economy and creates wealth for the teeming population.
The event was attended by heads of Artisanal Miners Cooperatives who expressed willingness to drive the sector to greater heights.