SOLID MINERALS MINING: OGAR APPEALS FOR MORE FUNDING

The Honourable Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr, Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah has called for more funding of the sector and also appealed to the House Committee on Steel to extend its oversight function to Ministry of Finance so that appropriated funds be adequately released to the Ministry, stressing that activities in Minerals and Metals Sector are capital intensive.

Ogah made the call in Abuja on Tuesday when the Management Staff of the Ministry and its Agencies appeared before the Committee to defend the 2018 and 2019 Budget expenditure.

He stated that his Ministry has ensured prudent and judicious utilization of the funds appropriated to it within the period under review. .

Speaking further, Ogah said the Ministry has embarked on deployment of ICT in operation of the Ministry and its agencies activities such as the Integrated Automation and Interactive Solid Minerals Web Portal, geared towards ensuring timely and efficient service delivery in a manner that would increase revenue generation.

He expressed immense gratitude to the Committee Members whom he described as ‘’Partners in progress ‘’ for the appropriate intervention in galvanizing and overseeing the activities of the Ministry.

Earlier, the Committee Chairman, Honourable Halims Ali Abdullahi disclosed that the essence of the Budget Defense was for his Committee Members to interact with the Management and Staff of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and its Agencies, especially in respect of funds being released to them and to be abreast of the Memorandum of Understanding the Ministry signed with the Russian Government on the Ajeokuta Steel Company Limited .

Hon. Abdullahi maintained that it was not the intention of the Committee Members to witch-hunt anybody while carrying out their oversight functions but to ensure that there was transparency and accountability in the conduct of Government business.