By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah
…..as ministers clock one year in office
The federal executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved 38 made in Nigeria vehicles at the cost of N326,781 million for the mines and steel ministry.
This was disclosed to State House correspondents by the Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He noted that for over a decade ,no vehicle has been purchased for the mines and steel Inspectorate division to oversee what’s going on in the states in artisans and informal mining situations, surveillance of illegal mining activities taking place and the various challenges on the field.
He said” FEC approved the direct procurement of Nissan four-wheel Patrol vehicles for Mines Inspectorate division of mines and steel in the 36 states and the FCT.
“What is also important with the approval we got for these vehicles, is that It speaks directly to the government’s commitment to support made in Nigeria products.
“over the last two, three months, all the approvals we have got for vehicles not just ours in Mines and Steel but the ones for the Prison Service, Immigration, EFCC are procurements authorised to buy vehicles from local assembly plants so that we can begin to strengthen our automotive industry”.
“38 vehicles one for each state of the federation and FCT and an additional one for Lagos because of its size.It is at a unit cost of N8.190 million totalling N326,781 million.”
According to him, as part of their road map ,a surveillance task force has also been established with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence, EFCC, Police and the Civil Defence to combat bandits and illegal mining.
He said the government remains committed to checkmating the activities of bandits and illegal miners and this approval is further confirmation of the government’s commitment in that direction.
“You may have read for example even though is not directly linked to the mining operation, what happened in Zamfara yesterday and the number of people that were killed. Miners that were killed by bandits that have been operating in that area. it speaks directly to our determination to begin to focus lot more seriously on the activities of informal or illegal miners.
Only yesterday I was in Paiko LGA where two people died last week to examine what precisely led to that, to people who are just trying to etch out a living in supporting artisinal and small scale miners, in order to fulfill Mr. President’s job creation agenda” he added.
As the ministers clocks one year in office on Friday, Fayemi said” We will be one year in office in two days time so this was an Anniversary Federal Executive Council meeting. And it gave us the opportunity to really reflect on the progress we have made as a government, the challenges that we still have to tackle and the commitment we have to reiterate.
We thanked Mr. President for giving us the opportunity to serve the nation and do so in a manner that advances our democracy and the development of our country.
On his part, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu said the council rectified the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter adding that the Lake Chad Basin Commission comprises of a number of countries – Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic and Libya.
According to him, a treaty was signed in 2012 by all countries which requires 95 per cent of member countries to rectify it before it comes into effect and the next stage is for it to go to National Assembly for an enactment of law.
He asserted that the charter seeks to strengthen cooperation between all members and to forge some kind of consensus on issues relating to environment, security and the future of the lake itself.
“As you are aware, the lake has been threatened by climate change, it has shrunk to less than 10 per cent of its original size 40, 50 years ago. And efforts are being put in place to ensure the lake is safe from extinction and to improve the security situation.
Which as you are know is part of the reason for the current restlessness and insurgency by youths in the North East. We are also expecting other countries to rectify charter so we can strengthen the relationship in. The Lake Chad Basin Commission” Adamu said.