$150 million dollars have been earmarked by the World Bank for the development of the Mines and steel sector in Nigeria. The Minister for Mines and steel development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who made this known at the Government House Enugu, said that he was on an inspection tour to ascertain the condition of some abandoned or moribund mining industries and sites in the state.
Dr. Kayode emphasized that Enugu Coal Mines were among the key mines to be reactivated to regain their pride of place in country. The minister mentioned that the federal government has designed the sector to be attractive to investors and wiling to collaborate with state governments and communities to tap the opportunities abound in the sector.
Responding, the Governor Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi complained that companies granted license for mining of various solid minerals in the state were redundant, Governor Ugwuanyi described them as ghost miners as their inactivity had made the area a den of vandals and appealed for the revocation of those licenses to enable that state government streamline activities in the sector to improve its Internally Generated Revenue.
Meanwhile, Governor Ugwuanyi inaugurated a Judicial Commission of inquiry into the sale of land belonging to the defunct Nigerian Coal Cooperation, which the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE sold to some communities in the state. Governor Ugwuanyi said that the situation had degenerated to restiveness in the communities and threatening the security of the people as members of the benefiting communities fight among themselves for the possession of the land.
He explained that the commission was expected to investigate and recommend to the government appropriate measures to mitigate the development of the crisis.The Chairman of the Commission, retired Justice Kingsley Ude on behalf of other members pledged to carry out the responsibility with diligence. The Commission was charges to tender its report of investigation within three months.