By Francisca Oluyole
The Miners Association of Nigeria has appealed to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to grant the newly inaugurated board of the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) autonomy to execute its mandate.
The board of the SMDF was inaugurated on May 25.
Alhaji Sani Shehu, president of the association, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
He said the board would require independence to effectively execute its mandate as stipulated in the mineral and mining act, 2007.
Shehu, who served as a member of the board in 2014, alleged that the board was unable to execute it statutory mandate due to the ministry’s interference in their activities.
“The executives of the ministry at that time did not allow us to execute our mandate effectively because they were interfering; the board lacked necessary manpower, structure and funding to run our activities.”
According to Shehu, the mineral and mining act 2007, stipulates how funds should be generated and utilised by the board, adding that they were unable to achieve these during his tenure.
“I hope this new administration will give the new board members adequate support to carry out their assignment well,” he said.
The board members are charged with the statutory mandate to restructure and operate the SMDF by designing the appropriate governance structure, organisation strategies and effective financial management.
They are also charged to work with investors to establish their governance and structure mandate, among others.