The Federal Government has disclosed that artisanal miners can access N100 million loans at low-interest rates to boost the diversification of Nigeria’s mining industry.
This was revealed in an interview by Nigeria’s minister of mines and steel development, Mr. Olamilekun Adegbite, recently in Abuja during a forum Forum.
He added that the first step towards accessing the loans is for artisanal miners to form cooperatives.
Adegbite noted that artisanal miners can expand their operations by registering with cooperative societies, which will enable them to access as much as N100 million loan at only five percent interest rate.
The minister added that the loan repayment could span a period of 20 years, which is fixed at a low rate for artisanal miners to encourage diversification of the economy.
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10 miners form cooperatives of 10 people when approaching the ministry for the loan to make the process seamless, adding that doing so makes them a priority for the ministry, which enables them with the appropriate equipment and license.
“I was told we have more than a thousand cooperatives that have registered with us. Some of them have successfully transited from artisanal miners to small-scale miners.
“There are still many of them out there but we are winning because we are winning them over with incentives. So, because they are working, they are paying revenue to the government by paying their royalty, so it is a win-win situation,” he said.