Minister’s Address at the Inaugural session of the Board of SMDF

Being the text of the address by

Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON
Minister of Mines and Steel Development

On the Occasion of the Inauguration of the
Board of the Solid Minerals Development Fund

Abuja, Nigeria | Wednesday, May 25, 2017

Protocols

I am delighted to welcome you all to the inauguration of the newly constituted Board of the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), which marks an important milestone in our efforts to reposition the Nigerian Mining industry. The SMDF was established by Section 34 of the Nigerian Mining and Minerals Act 2007, to address the fundamental sectoral challenge of Insufficient Funding – a problem that has historically undermined the growth potentials of the sector.
The approval for the reconstitution of the Board by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari is a clear indication of this administration’s commitment to fixing the Nigerian Mining industry to become a key contributor to achieving our national goals of diversifying our sovereign revenue base and creating jobs. We are pleased that this administration’s strategic focus on the Mining sector is being justified by the very strong sectoral performance that is now being recorded.
The First Quarter 2017 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) results recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that, “Coal mining; Metal Ores; and Quarrying and other metals; grew strongly by 2.03%, 40.79% and 52.54% respectively. The strong performance of the Mining Sector has contributed to the steady recovery of the Nigerian economy which the NBS further reports have steadily improved in the last three quarters.
As our administration marks two years in office, we are pleased that these successes are being recorded during our stewardship of this sector, and under the direction of Mr. President. There is however a lot more grounds to cover. In the FGN’s recently launched ‘Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (2017-2020)’, the Minerals and Metals sector was duly recognised as one of those to drive Nigeria’s recovery. The document projected to grow sectoral contribution to GDP from N103 billion (2015) to N141 billion in 2020, at an average annual growth rate of 8.54%. Other targets for the sector include the facilitation of Coal to Power Plants to contribute to our energy mix towards bridging our energy deficits. The strategy document which is very much in sync with the sector’s Roadmap, also aims to produce geological maps of the entire country by 2020 on a scale of 1:100,000; as well as integrate artisanal miners into the formal sector.
We remain committed to being guided by our roadmap to achieve greater strides in the sector. It is therefore noteworthy that this inauguration is coming at a time we have commenced the operationalisation of the Roadmap as well as the implementation of the World Bank supported Mineral Diversification Project. We therefore count on the patriotic service of the new Board of the SMDF, to play their own part as a crucial enabler in the industry. As provided by Section 34 (a – e) of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007, the SMDF is mandated to intervene in the following areas:
1. Development of both human and physical capacity in the sector;
2. Funding for geo-scientific data gathering, storage and retrieval to meet the needs of private sector led mining industry;
3. Equipping the mining institutions to enable them perform their statutory functions;
4. Funding for the extension services of small scale and artisanal mining operators;
5. Provision of infrastructure in mines land.
We trust the capacities of the new board to deliver on these mandates. In keeping with the law, the membership of the board is carefully drawn from active practitioners in the sector, a representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and a representative of the Bankers Committee. We believe we have a competent team of seasoned professionals that would inspire confidence and trust from other stakeholders they would be working with. I have no doubt in my mind that with the pedigree of members of the Board, their wealth of experience and networks would be brought to bear on this job towards achieving the desired results.
In addition to their statutory mandates, the board is also charged with the following responsibilities:
1. Restructuring and operationalisation of the SMDF by designing the appropriate governance structure, organization, strategies and operations for effective management.
2. Promote the establishment of the SPV Facilitator Fund and work with investors to establish its governance and financial structure.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present to you the new Board of the Solid Minerals Development Fund as follows:
1. Alhaji Uba Saidu Malami – Chairman
2. Mr. Ademola Gbadegesin- Member
3. Prince Theo Iseghohi – Member
4. Mr. Samuel Ogbu Eze – Member
5. Dr. Uwatt Bassey Uwatt – Corporate Member
(Represents the Central Bank of Nigeria)

6. Ms. Yinka Mubarak – Corporate Member
(Represents Bankers Committee)

Mr. President has also approved the appointment of Hajia Fatima Shinkafi as the Executive Secretary and Head of the secretariat of the SMDF.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, following the approval of the Presidency and by virtue of Section 34 of the Nigerian Mining and Minerals Act 2007, I hereby declare the new board of the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) duly inaugurated. I thank you for accepting to serve in this capacity and wish you success in the discharge of this critical national assignment.
Thank you for listening.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON
Minister of Mines and Steel Development
Abuja, Nigeria | Wednesday, May 25, 2017