Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has conveyed his pain over the non-certification of the national geoscience research laboratories in Kaduna State, Nigeria by the International Certification Organisation.
He described the situation more worrisome whereby mineral samples here have to be taken to laboratories outside the country for necessary tests and certifications
He made this known through a press statement made available to Journalists during a recent meeting with the Australian Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary (African Branch), Matthew Nehaus in Abuja
According to him, “Areas of assistance, is the need to get the ministry’s laboratory, the National Geo-sciences Research Laboratories in Kaduna certificated. Kaduna laboratories should get international certification so that it can live up to its billing as the foremost geoscience laboratory in the country.”
He said, about 80 percent of mining activities in the country were being carried out by artisans miners, hence the concern of the ministry on the need to organise them, ensure their safety and the safety of the environment. Whereas the ministry was working with the Ministry of Environment on the environmental safety, it believed that partnering with Australia, with its hugely successful mining sector, would help the Nigerian government’s quest for safer mining practice.
“The government takes the issue of environmental safety seriously, because the health and wellbeing of the people are of paramount interest to us. Owing to Australia’s long experience in mining, we want to share your success story.”
He assured the envoy that corruption and insecurity are being tackled by the President Buhari administration in the process of rebuilding the economy.
“There is a link between corruption and insecurity. All these are being corrected as we rebuild the economy. And we are optimistic the economy would be better for it”, Fayemi stressed.
Responding the Australian Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary said his team would work with the officials of the Solid Minerals Development ministry to work out arrangement aimed at realising the two requests.
Neuhaus restated the commitment of the Australian government towards ensuring that Nigeria takes its position as a mining destination, even as he lauded the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy.