- FG Okays N327m Vehicles for 38 Mine Inspectors’ Vans
The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the purchase of 38 units of four-wheel Nissan Patrol, totalling N326.781m for the mines inspectorate division of the Ministry of Mines and Steel.
The council also ratified the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter, paving the way for the document to be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of the council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Sulaiman Adamu; and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting.
Fayemi said the 36 states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory would benefit from the procurement.
“For a decade, no vehicle has been purchased for the mines and steel inspectorate division to oversee what is going on in our various states,” he said.
He said the procurement of the vehicles was meant to tackle illegal mining activities and other various challenges facing the sector.
But the Chairman, Zuma West Africa Limited, Dr. Innocent Ezuma, urged the Federal Government to go beyond the purchase of vehicles and equip the officers as well.
He said, “The mines inspectors are required to be visiting the sites and the quarries. They need vehicles to move around. Mining is in the bush and not in city centres. They should be able to ascertain the mines that are working.
“It is not good that they should visit the sites in the vehicles of those that they are inspecting; it is not tidy. So they should be properly equipped.
“Apart from vehicles, they should be provided with safety booths, clothing and walkie-talkies. There are locations you cannot reach with normal telecommunications networks.”
Fayemi added that the procurement also demonstrated government’s commitment to support made-in-Nigeria products.
The minister stated, “Over the last two to three months, all the approvals we have got for vehicles – not just ours in mines and steel ministry but the ones for the Prisons Service, Immigration and EFCC – are procurements authorised to buy vehicles from local assembly plants so that we can begin to strengthen our automotive industry.
“The government remains committed to that and this approval is a further confirmation of the government’s commitment to that promise.
“It also speaks directly to our determination to begin to focus lot more seriously on the activities of the informal or illegal miners.”
He said each states and Abuja would get one vehicle each while Lagos would get two.
Adams said the council ratified the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter, adding that the treaty, which was signed in 2012 by all member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, required 95 per cent of member countries to ratify it before it comes into effect.
With this ratification, the minister said the next stage was for the document to go to the National Assembly for an enactment into law.