The Minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi on Thursday disclosed that his ministry had discussed with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and commercial banks in the country so that they could establish a desk for solid minerals development.
Fayemi disclosed this at the budget defence of his ministry, while responding to question by a member of the Senate Committee on Solid minerals, Senator Tijjani Yahaya Kaura on whether it is appropriate to establish Solid Minerals Development Bank in order to funds activities that will lead to the diversification of the economy.
“Hon. Minister, you recall that you promised the Senate during your screening that you were going to turn things around and giving your credentials, one is not in doubt. We want to know how far, your ministry has gone with arrangements of establishing Solid Minerals Development Bank?” Kaura asked.
The Minister noted that establishing Solid Minerals Development Bank at this time would have viability problems, hence what the ministry is doing is to liaise with the CBN and commercial banks to set up a desk that would specifically fund the sector which they have agreed.
“For now, setting up Solid Minerals Development Bank would have viability problems because the sector was still under developed and instead we decided to discuss with the CBN and Commercial Banks to set up a desk so as to fund solid mineral related activities,” he said.
“The administration was already working towards positioning the sector as one of the economic mainstay, but in doing this, steel sector component was critical and I want to solicit the cooperation of the Senate in this direction,” Fayemi added.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Solid minerals, Joshua Dariye alongside other Committee members having noticed increase wage bill of the Ministry, sought for the list of staff with a view to ascertaining if it reflects true federal character.