The FEC during its meeting on Wednesday celebrated its one year anniversary. The council also observed a one minute silence in honour of fallen heroes.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this after FEC meeting. He further relayed the high points of the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We are one year in office in two days’ time; so this is the anniversary cabinet meeting.”
“And it gave us the opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made as a government. Also, the challenges that we still have to tackle.
“We also used the occasion to reiterate our commitment to Mr President for giving all of us the opportunity to serve the nation and to do so in a manner that advances our democracy and the development of our country.”
FEC Approves 38 Patrol Jeeps
Meanwhile, has approved the direct purchase of 38 locally manufactured patrol jeeps. This is to enhance the operations of the inspectorate division of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
“Aside from that, we took on two other memoranda. One from the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and another from the Ministry of Water Resources.”
“On the Mines and steel Development it was the approval of the direct procurement of Nissan Patrol vehicles for the Mines Inspectorate (division) in our 36 states.”
According to the Fayemi, for a decade, the division which oversees artisanal mining, has not purchased any vehicle.
He further added that the vehicles would be used for surveillance of illegal mining activities. They will also tackle various field challenges faced by the ministry’s workers.
The minister recalled the recent killing of some miners by bandits in Zamfara and the death of two miners in Paiko, Niger State. He added that through proper surveillance, such incidents could be avoided.
Fayemi said a surveillance task force had been established with the ministries of Interior and Defence as well as the Police and Civil defence. This is in line with the ministry’s road map.
Made In Nigeria
Consequently, the minister noted that the approval further demonstrates government’s commitment to supporting Made in Nigeria products.
“Over the last three months, all the approvals we had for the purchase of vehicles for Mines and Steel, Interior, Immigration and EFCC were procurements authorised to buy vehicles from local assembly plants.”
“This is so that we can begin to strengthen our automotive industry and the government remains committed to that and this approval is further confirmation of the government’s commitment in that direction.”
“It speaks directly also to our determination to really begin to focus a lot more seriously on the activities of informal or illegal miners.”
Support For Small Scale Miners
Furthermore, Fayemi stressed that the ministry was eager to define the role it could play in supporting artisanal and small-scale miners. This is in fulfillment of the administration’s job creation and revenue generation agenda.
He said the vehicles worth N326.78m would be bought from local automobile companies. They will be given to each of the states and Abuja while two will be allocated to Lagos State.
FEC Approves Lake Chad Water Charter
Also speaking after the meeting, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu disclosed that the council has also ratified the Lake Chad Water Charter.
He added that this was the second memo considered by FEC.
He said that a treaty was signed by all the Lake Chad Basin Commission countries in 2012. This required the ratification of 95% of the countries before it could come into effect.
“It was ratified today and the next stage is for it to go to the National Assembly for an enactment of the law to back it.”
“The charter seeks to strengthen cooperation between all the member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission. Also, to forge some kind of consensus on issues relating to environment, security and the future of the lake itself.”
“The lake has been threatened by climate change over the years. It has shrank to less than 10% of its storage capacity 40 years to 50 years ago.”
“And all efforts are being put in place to ensure that the lake is safe from extinction. Also, to improve the security situation in the region.”
Adamu ascribed the restlessness and insurgency in the North-East partly to the shrinking of the lake. He expressed hope that with other countries ratifying the charter, the security in the region could be guaranteed.