By Rukayat Moisemhe
Lagos – The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has urged local miners to abandon informal practice to benefit from funds provided for operators in the sector by the Federal Government.
Mr Ayoola Olukanni, Director- General of NACCIMA, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos.
Olukanni said it would be difficult to achieve the sector’s development goals if the miners failed to formalise their practice.
According to him, if artisanal miners formalised their operations, they would not be excluded from the various funding arrangements provided by the Federal Government to grow the sector.
“The essence is to bring them within a fold, encourage and support them with capacity development and the possibility of tapping into the mineral development funds and many other funding mechanisms to boost the sector.
“Formalisation will also ensure that they are properly guided on safe mining practices instead of digging anyhow and along the line, become poisoned by unsafe practices,” he said.
Olukanni said the contributions of the small scale miners to the development of the sector and the nation’s economy was important, hence the need to formalise their operations because mining business was capital intensive.
The director-general advised them to shun illegal mining activities to avoid being apprehended by the special mining policemen and wardens.