President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met three ministers to receive briefs on their activities. They are Kayode Fayemi of Solid Minerals, Usani Uguru Usani, Niger Delta Affairs and Solomon Lalong of Sports ministries.
Fayemi, who addressed State House Correspondents after the meeting said he came to inform the president of the major breakthrough his ministry had on Friday with the World Bank, which approving the $150million dollar request during the meeting in Washington.
The minister described the move as a major breakthrough in the sector and explained that the facility with 1 percent interest rate has a 30-year moratorium.According to Fayemi, part of the loan would be used to assist the ministry in the area of geological data as well as “organising the informal sector into a formal sector,” by providing access to funding and helping them with technological equipment for the artisanal miners.
“It is also going to help us, there are many miners that have done extensive exploration but to move to production has been a challenge. So, for those who are crossing over from exploration to exploitation and to actual mining, we believe that giving them some assistance would help boost the industry, particularly the small and medium scale players in the industry,” he said.
Usani said he informed President Buhari on sundry issues concerning the Niger Delta region. The minister acknowledged people’s worries over the delay in the completion of the east-west road, but assured that efforts were being made to facilitate the completion of the project.
He dismissed allegations that the ministry has not been able to showcase any project as part of its achievements, saying that several projects including some health centres and classroom blocks, among others in the South-South region will soon be ready.
According to Usani, ”I came to brief the President on issues of concern in the region and work progress in the ministry. I told him that we are meeting our target and we also wish to achieve more.
Lalong said he was also in the Presidential Villa to update the president on the progress recorded so far in the efforts of the ministry to reposition the sports sector, especially the forthcoming national federation elections in line with the guidelines that have been approved by the stakeholders’ forum.
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