Given the success of the disbursement of the N200 million fund to artisanal miners, the Ministry of Mining and Steel Development could extend the program to more small miners.
Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister for Mining and Steel Development. said this when appearing on the flagship Nigerian News Agency (NAN) forum in Abuja on Tuesday.
Adegbite said the Mining Intervention Fund had raised over N 3.2 billion, which is held by the Bank of Industry (BOI) was a federal government intervention to encourage mining activities in Nigeria.
He said the original fund was N 2.5 billion, but interest was accrued in the bank and N 200 million was paid out of interest as Loans to small-scale and artisanal miners.
“When it was first founded, people from N 10 million to a maximum of N 100 million have access to five percent interest rates, and we had a track record.
“What we realized now was that there were lots of other little ones, artisanal miners, little miners who didn’t even need up to N 10 million, which was the minimum.
” So, they were excluded because you say at least 10 million N, a maximum of 100 million N and you know how banking is, if you want to take N 10 million n from a bank, the security is at least twice as high.
“But there are some artisanal miners out there who just want to improve their activity, by buying a water pump so they have water to wash oars so they can get what they need, 500,000N. That’s all you need to buy them.
“We have them excluded by saying the minimum you can borrow is N 10 million, so we put another system in place as part of that. ”According to him, some miners have been able to do so because of the rigors Conditions imposed by the bank not to access the fund, but with the sub-fund amounting to N 200 million, it could give individuals a maximum of Naira 2 million and a minimum of N 200,000.
However, he said that the only condition was to have a guarantor of the bes oldungsgruppe 14 in federal civil service or its equivalent in the services.
“This is supposed to allow all of these lower-end people to benefit from this new scheme that I designed when I realized what was going on and it hits the ground.
“Many of these low-budget people are already turning to the bank for that.
” There has been a program in the past that didn’t was very successful, so why we gave the money to the bank this time.
“It’s not your part of the national pie, it’s something to help you, it’s the cheapest fund in Nigeria today with five percent.
“So, if it works, yes, we can expand that and maybe provide up to half a billion more money, but we have to be careful.