FG Set To Revamp Mining Industry

The Federal Government has proposed 20 billion naira for the exploration of mineral resources across the country.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, says the fund will help harness the potentials in the sector.

He made this known while speaking at a meeting on solid minerals development in Abuja which was attended by governors of Kaduna, Ebonyi and Cross River states.

The meeting focuses on how to strengthen mining governance, improve transparency and accountability in making the solid minerals sector more attractive.

The Cross River State, Ben Ayade outlined things expected from the solid mineral sector, while the Country Director of the World Bank, assured that the bank will continue to play a leading role in funding programmes that will improve efficiency in mines and steel development.

The nations mining sector is faced with challenges of weak enforcement of mining legislation, non-regulation of artisanal miners and limited sector coordination amongst others.

The consensus here, however, is that these challenges can be surmounted if key players put their words into action.

Presidential Election Holds In Zambia

Zambians queue to cast their ballots for the Zambian Presidential elections at Kanyama primary in Lusaka on January 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

Voting began on Tuesday for the next president of Zambia, one of Africa’s most promising frontier markets, in what shaped up as a tight race between a populist lawyer and a wealthy economist.

Edgar Lungu, leader of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), is seen having a slight edge over main rival, Hakainde Hichilema, a businessman whose United Party for National Development (UPND) has won over the middle-class and investors.

The two candidates had promised to improve the economy and create jobs in the country.

The winner would serve out the remaining 18 months of Michael Sata’s term as Zambia is due to hold a general election in 2016.

Former President, Michael Sata, passed away in October 2014 and Vice President Guy Scott became acting President of Zambia.

Observers have said that the election has been largely peaceful.

Counting of the ballots would begin shortly after polls close with results due to be announced within 48 hours.

Zambia is Africa’s biggest copper producer after Democratic Republic of Congo. Its mining sector had experienced a boom in recent years with the economy averaging a 6 to 7 percent growth.

It however slowed to to 5.5 percent in 2014 from being one of the world’s best performing economies.