The Association of Miners and Processors of Barite (AMAPOB) has urged the Federal Government to weed out jokers in the solid mineral sector and increase investment to accelerate the country’s development process.
According to Mr Patrick Odiegwu, the National Publicity Secretary of the association, said, it is important for the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to understand why the country’s solid minerals sector should not reside permanently on the realms of phantom development.
“I plead with the Ministry to double its efforts, it should not be business as usual, it needs to understand the mineral groups we have in the country, their uses, including value chain process.”
Odiegwu, however, noted that there may have been cases of some unserious miners and incidents of sharp practices as well, diversion of loans in the past.
He said that Prudent and Reserve Based Off-taker or trade lending was the correct panacea in weeding out jokers while supporting serious players in the sector.
Odiegwu noted that secondary collateral demand should never happen in mining, saying that a specialist funding window similar to Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) should be cloned and made operative immediately.
This, he said was critical if the government was serious in its resolve to realize set economic blueprint for national development.
He maintained that businesses that required funding to operate should not be starved of funds as such businesses would not be able to contribute to economic growth.
Odiegwu added this would invariably harm the country’s socio-economic status quo.
“I do suggest cross ventilation between manufacturer association for two hours, no talking shop.”