Why miners can’t access N5b fund

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Dearth of skilled manpower has stalled efforts, by the mining operators to access the N5billion World Bank intervention funds, the Director, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Ojeka Patrick, has said.
He said World Bank provided N5billion in two tranches of N2.5billion each to the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), including small miners, adding that poor miners have not been able to access the funds, due to poor technical know-how.
He said the development made stakeholders to organize training for the operators in the six-geo political zones of the country.
In an interview with The Nation, he said a training programme is starting tomorrow, in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
He said the programme will provide operators with skills on how to prepare a bankable mining feasibility study, with a view to get funds for operation.
Patrick, who also doubles as the Chief Executive officer, Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and GeoScientists (COMEG), said the sub-sector needed more than N5billion for operation, in view of its huge potential.
According to him, the N5billion is still in the custody of the Bank of Industry (BoI).
Patrick said: “The knowledge gap in the sub-sector is huge and as a result of this, one cannot under estimate the importance of the training. This is in view of the fact that the Federal Government, has made efforts to enable the extractive industry, especially the mineral resources to access funds from the banking sector, to no avail.”