Miners Association of Nigeria has been included in the N5billion FG intervention fund to Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners across the country.
The association said that the Federal Government has agreed to involve its executives in the disbursement of the N5 billion fund.
President of the association, Alhaji Sani Shehu said in Abuja that the decision was taken by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD).
The involvement of the association would enhance the effectiveness of the disbursement to genuine miners across the country.
The miners executives had complained of not having access to the fund due to stringent conditions by Bank of Industry (BoI) saddled with the disbursement of the fund.
The intervention fund is a joint venture between the Bank of Industry that provided N2.5billion and MMSD that provided another N2.5billion.
Improve the sector
This effort was a plan by the Federal Government through the MMSD to rejuvenate the mining sector as a means of economic diversification.
The loans would be available to certified mining industry participants at a single digit interest rate of five per cent per annum.
The aim of the intervention was to address lack of fund which was a major factor militating against artisanal and small scale miners operations.
He said that the ministry had also discovered some reasons why miners were not able to access the fund.
“Government has given us the opportunity to be involved, identify and also to guarantee our members access the fund.
“We are happy with this arrangement, we will soon come up with a tripartite arrangement with the ministry and Bank of Industry which the fund is domiciled with to ensure miners access the funds on time,” he said.
According to Shehu, all conditions required for accessing the fund remains valid, adding that the association would now serve as guarantor for its members.
“We will put mechanism in place to assess and guarantee our members that are worthy of the loan to avoid the association’s name being tarnished.”