The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development on Thursday announced the selection of Bauchi state for the implementation of Artisanal and Small Mining Cluster, ASM development project for the North East geopolitical zone.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade announced this when she led members of staff of the ministry on a courtesy visit to Governor Bala Mohammed at the Council Chamber, Government House, Bauchi.
A press statement by the governor’s media aide Mukthtar Gidado quoted Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade as saying that the project which includes the development of kaolin value chain through the establishment of kaolin processing plant and possibly, equipment leasing platform, would provide opportunities for enhanced exploitation of kaolin for job and wealth creation.
She said under the project, the Federal Government will embark on infrastructural development in the cluster area to increase the ease of doing business, adding that, the project will organize the Artisanal and Small scale operators in the project area into clusters cooperatives.
The Permanent Secretary said the clusters will be provided with common facilities and coordinated activities to enable easy formalization of the artisanal mining activities in the kaolin supply chain, as well as avail them the opportunity for value addition and market accessibility.
“Your Excellency, I am honoured to be in your midst to bring to you information on the activities of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development towards the implementation of the one of the Presidential directives to revive and sustain the country’s economy which has been suffering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.”
“In a bid to stem the worsening economic situation, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari established the Economic Sustainability Plan Committee where the committee recommended the execution of projects in different sectors of the economy, including development of Artisanal and Small Mining clusters in each of the six geopolitical zones to spur accelerated growth of socioeconomic activities in the country.”
Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade therefore applauded Governor Bala Mohammed for the allocation of five hectares of Land at Alkaleri Local Government Area of the state for the project and reaffirmed the readiness of the Ministry to support the state government in boosting its economy.
“It is noteworthy that this development is the Federal Government support to His Excellency’s lofty strives in providing employment and empowerment opportunities for the people of Bauchi state, especially the teeming youths.”
Governor Bala Mohammed while appreciating the Ministry for giving the opportunity to Bauchi to implement the project for the North East, pledged to support the initiative for its full implementation in the state.
The governor who expressed concern over irregularities in the activities of miners in the state, said his administration will continue to work with the ministry for the advancement of mining sector.
“I welcome you to Government House Bauchi on behalf of the Government and people of Bauchi state, I must appreciate the Honorable Ministers in the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for bringing this project Bauchi.”