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FG TO AID MINING COMMUNITIES

By NBF News

The Federal Government through the World Bank assisted project has promised to assist mining communities with $50,000 each after forming cooperative societies in their areas.

The project coordinator Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP) in charge of World Bank assistance in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr, Linus Adie, disclosed this in Gusau after visiting the affected villages of Dareta and Yargalma where many children died as a result of lead poisoning.

'Nigeria had secured credit to revitalize the mining cooperation in the country in 2006 and the assistance was still there,$50.000US will be given to each village or community that formed cooperative society.'

According to him, some communities in Plateau State had benefited with some, machines and other assisted equipment and it assisted them in no small measure the development of their communities and the development of the state in general.

He advised that, communities should form cooperative societies to get the assistance as soon as they qualify with all necessary guidelines. Also, the Inter-Ministerial Committee set up by the Federal Government to carry out  investigation on lead poisoning that claimed lives of many children in Zamfara State had visited the site and declared that government would formalise the activities of informal miners in the state.

The minister disclosed that government had since issued a stop work on all mining and processing  activities in the affected areas. He said his ministry had conducted a sensitization programme in the affected area on safe mining and processing techniques and would soon formalise the operation of informal miners  into mining co-operatives.

'Miners can be very good sources of revenue when fully utilised and assisted accordingly, we will assist them to become useful to government, society and themselves,' he said.