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Poverty: Nigeria Has No Excuse Considering Huge Mineral Endowments – Senator Sampson

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Senator Ekong Sampson, has lamented that the country has been so richly blessed to be facing the current economic hardship.

Sampson, who represents Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, also emphasised that Nigeria does not have any excuse to be poor, considering the huge mineral endowments in the country.

He made the remarks yesterday as the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals rounded up its interactive session with the Executive Secretary, Solid Minerals Development Fund, Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi, and her team.

senator sampson and solid minerals
Executive Secretary, Solid Minerals Development Fund, Fatima Shinkafi (middle), Sen. Ekong Sampson (left).

The Solid Minerals Development Fund is one of the key agencies under the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, mandated with the responsibility of facilitating funding for mining activities in the country.

The interactive session, which spanned two days, offered an opportunity for the agency to get the Senate Committee up to speed regarding some of its programmes and activities.

Related: Senate Intensifies Investigations Into Mining Sector

Senator Sampson reiterated that the Senate was ready to offer needed legislation by looking at gaps in the existing Mining Act to address them and provide a workable legal framework that will boost and reinvigorate the nation’s mining sector.

He expressed the readiness of the Senate Committee to continually interface with relevant agencies and key stakeholders in the industry to engender stronger collaboration in the interest of the sector.

Addressing newsmen after the interactive session with the Senate Committee members, the Executive Secretary, Solid Minerals Development Fund, Fatima Shinkafi, acknowledged the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals as a key partner in the development of the mining sector, especially in the area of legislation.

Hajia Shinkafi illumined and offered insights on some of her agency’s programmes, stages of implementation, as well as future projections.

She highlighted that the agency had secured a key partnership with the African Finance Corporation to deepen greenfield exploration and boost data, which was critical to investment in the sector.

The Executive Secretary promised to grow the Fund and position it to make a considerable impact on the sector, adding that growing the minerals sector will offer needed export diversification, lead to increased forex earnings for Nigeria, and strengthen the dwindling naira.

Read Also: I Will Ensure Maritime University Oron Takes Off Soon – Senator Sampson

While thanking the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals for a warm and productive interface, Hajia Shinkafi solicited the continuous support and collaboration of the legislative arm to enable the sector to achieve some of its lofty goals.

Some of the Senate Committee members present at the meeting were Vice Chairman Senator Mustapha Khabeeb, Senator Aminu Tambuwwal, Senator Diket Plang, Senator Onawo Ogoshi, Senator Osita Ngwu, Senator Idriss Wadada, Senator Seriake Dickson, and Senator Sunday Marshal Katung, among others.

Accompanying the Executive Secretary to the session were renowned geologists, former DG of the Nigerian Mining Cadastral and former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, Dr. O. Adeniji, mining law expert Daniel Baluwa, and Head of Human Resources at the agency, among others.

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