Group Praises Fayemi Over Performance In Solid Minerals Sector

Group Praises Fayemi Over Performance In Solid Minerals Sector
Sam Oluwalana, ibadan

The Conference of Nigeria’s Political Parties (CNPP) in Ekiti State has hailed the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, who is also former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, over his “sterling performance” in effecting a turn around in the Solid Minerals sector, as attested to by President Muhammadu Buhari in his 2018 budget speech.

The group said the attestation to Fayemi’s performance in the Mines and Steel Ministry and to the growth of the Nigerian economy is both historic and historical.

It said Fayemi’s hard work and vision derived from the collective vision of President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress (APC) propelled the minister to deploy his energies and staff towards the feats achieved to revamp the economy for the welfare of Nigerians.

Buhari had at his 2018 budget presentation on Tuesday at a joint sitting of the National Assembly, lauded Fayemi’s successful take-off of economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government through the mining sector, citing the increase in solid minerals earnings to the national economy, among others.

“Significant progress has also been made in the Solid Minerals development sector. In Ondo State, for instance, work is on going to fully exploit the bitumen resources to meet the 600,000 MTs of asphalt imported per annum for roads and other construction projects. To consolidate on these efforts, we have also established a 30 billion Naira Solid Minerals Development Fund to support other minerals exploration activities across the country.”, President Buhari had stated.

In a statement after its emergency meeting in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday, Chairman of the conference, Prince Tunji Ogunlola, said the President’s observation of the significant boost in the performance of the mining sector further confirmed an earlier commendation by the Senate Committee of Solid Minerals that applauded Fayemi’s hard work and transparency in the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government. He described it as a testimony to a man driven by passion to achieve his missions.

“The mining and steel sector, which is a viable alternative to oil, has remained untapped over the years until Dr. Fayemi took charge of the sector and turned it around, thereby making the dream of making the sector a tool for wealth and job creation a reality.

“From a paltry contribution of N700 million to the national purse before he took charge, Fayemi worked hard day and night with his men to contribute N2billion within one year, making it one of the highest sectoral contributors to the economy, apart from oil. This figure has also been surpassed by the first half of this year.

“No wonder that the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Senator James Manager (Delta PDP), described Dr. Fayemi as a man of vision who despite the challenges in the sector had taken the sector to higher level.”

Extolling Fayemi’s qualities, Ogunlola added:

“We are not surprised about the performance of Dr. Fayemi in the sector because he had earlier demonstrated his leadership and managerial abilities as Governor of Ekiti State by turning the state to huge construction and rehabilitation sites with projects in all towns and villages across the state.

“This is apart from his life-lifting programmes, such as the social security for the elderly people where about 25,000 elders received a monthly stipend of N5,000 each; Youth Volunteers Scheme for unemployed youths; Youths in Commercial Agriculture Development (YCAD); the Food Bank Scheme; Ekiti State Transport Management Agency; Conditional Cash Transfer; and the State-Assisted Community Projects,renovation of all schools and hospitals including regular payment of salaries and allowances, all that contributed in making the state’s economy active while he was governor.

“Like he is doing in the mineral sector, Fayemi as governor also initiated legacy projects, such as the Ikogosi Warm Springs, the Ekitiparapo Pavilion, resuscitation of Ire Burnt Bricks and moribund Igbemo Asphalt Plant, among others, to rejuvenate the state’s economy.

“For Fayemi’s history of hard work, integrity and honesty, N30b intervention fund was approved for the sector by the Natural Resources Development Fund and this is the first in the history of the sector and it is a testimony that Fayemi is a trusted expert to drive Nigeria’s diversified economy in which the non oil sector will be playing a pivotal role.

“We are proud of Dr. Fayemi’s enviable achievements as an outstanding performer in the Federal Executive Council and as a pride of Ekiti people known for their time-tested integrity, hard work, tenacity of purpose and honesty.

“We congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari for his ability to discover Fayemi’s potential as a brilliant mind who could make a difference in Nigeria’s drive towards diversification of her battered economy while also urging the minister to see the President’s and Senate’s endorsements as a challenge to do more.”

Ogunlola also appealed to Governor Ayodele Fayose to put politics of bitterness aside and soften his hard stance against all Federal Government’s programmes by emulating other governors who had cooperated with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to develop the mining sector in their states.

“Ebonyi State governor has cooperated well with the ministry for the development of coal mining in the state while Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has also cooperated with the Federal Government for the exploitation of bitumen in the state.

“We also urge Governor Fayose to cooperate with the Mines Ministry so that the various mineral resources in the state can be exploited for the benefit of the people, including helping the artisanal miners to develop their skills and operations that will add value to the economy of the state.”