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Fec Approves N326.78m Surveillance Vehicles For Fayemi

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SAN FRANCISCO, November 09, (THEWILL) – The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the purchase of 38 patrol jeeps worth N326.78m for the inspectorate divisions of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in order to boost the operations of the ministry.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, made this known in Abuja on Wednesday when he briefed State House correspondents after the FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We are one year in office, in two days' time; so this is the anniversary cabinet meeting,” he said.

“And it gave us the opportunity to really reflect on the progress we've made as a government, the challenges that we still have to tackle and the commitment that we had to reiterate to Mr. President for giving all of us the opportunity to serve the nation.

“And to do so in a manner that advances our democracy and the development of our country.

“Aside from that, we took on two memoranda – one from the ministry of mines and steel development and another from the ministry of water resources.

“On the mines and steel development it was the approval of the direct procurement of Nissan four-wheel patrol vehicles for the mines inspectorate (division) in our 36 states.”

The minister explained that for no vehicle has been purchased for the inspectorate divisions of the mines and steel development ministry, which oversees the artisanal mining situation in the various states of the federation, in a decade.

He said the vehicles would be used for surveillance of areas where illegal mining activities take place and for field trips by the ministry's workers.

Fayemi, who recalled the recent killing of some miners by bandits in Zamfara and the death of two miners in Paiko, Niger State, said that through proper surveillance such incidents could be avoided.

He further said that as part of the ministry's road map, a surveillance task force had been established with the ministries of Interior, Defence, and Police Affairs.

He stated that the approval of the purchase of the patrol vehicles is an indication of the government's commitment to supporting made-in-Nigeria products.

He said, “Over the last three months, all the approvals we had for the purchase of vehicles for Mines and Steel, Interior, Immigration, EFCC were procurement authorised to buy vehicles from local assembly plants.

“This is so that we can begin to strengthen our automotive industry and the government remains committed to that and this approval is further confirmation of the government's commitment in that direction.

“It speaks directly also of our determination to really begin to focus a lot more seriously on the activities of informal or illegal miners.”

Fayemi added that the ministry was eager to define the role it could play in supporting artisanal and small scale miners in fulfilment of the administration's job-creation and revenue-generation agenda.

He said the vehicles, worth N326.78m, would be bought from local automobile companies and given to each of the 36 states and Abuja, with Lagos State getting two.

Story by Oputah David