Min­is­ter Abubakar Bwari said 2 mil­lion Nige­ri­ans got their liveli­hood from ar­ti­sanal and smallscale min­ers, who pro­duced 90% of the coun­try’s min­eral out­put. There is no ac­cu­rate and up-to-date data on the num­ber of small-scale min­ers in Nige­ria, or how m

Sunday Trust - - FACT-CHECKS - Edited by David Ajikobi, Africa Check

He added that the lack of data on small-scale min­ing was one of the rea­sons for the launch of the Delve ini­tia­tive.

Delve – a plat­form for ar­ti­sanal and small-scale min­ing sta­tis­tics – is be­ing de­vel­oped as a part­ner­ship be­tween the World Bank and Pact, a non­profit in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion. It is set to pub­lish its first State of the Ar­ti­sanal and Small-Scale Min­ing Sec­tor re­port in October 2018.

There is no ac­cu­rate, up-to­date in­for­ma­tion on how many small-scale min­ers there are in Nige­ria, let alone how many peo­ple they sup­port. We there­fore rate the claim as un­proven.

Olu Ja­cob, the aide who pre­pared Bwari’s speech, told Africa Check the 90% fig­ure came from the min­istry’s ar­ti­sanal min­ing depart­ment.

But data the min­istry pro­vided to the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics didn’t back the statis­tic up.

The lat­est min­ing and quar­ry­ing data shows 45.7 mil­lion tons of solid min­er­als were pro­duced in Nige­ria in 2017.

This comes from the records of li­censed min­ers. Th­ese in­clude ar­ti­sanal and small-scale min­ers regis­tered with the min­istry through co­op­er­a­tives, but ex­cludes un­reg­is­tered ar­ti­sanal min­ers.

The min­eral ex­tracted the most was gran­ite (38%), fol­lowed by lime­stone (31%) and la­t­erite (8%), which is used for road con­struc­tion.

Small-scale min­ers go for gems and pre­cious met­als

Prof Sola Ajayi of the First Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­sity in Ibadan told Africa Check that in his ex­pe­ri­ence in the field, smallscale min­ers don’t ex­tract gran­ite and lime­stone, but rather mine for pre­cious met­als and gem­stones with hoes and dig­gers.

Com­pa­nies who re­ceived li­cences to mine lime­stone in 2015 in­cluded ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing gi­ants such as Dan­gote Ce­ment and the Ce­ment Com­pany of North­ern Nige­ria, a re­port shows.

The solid min­er­als pro­duced in the largest quan­ti­ties in Nige­ria are mined by large com­pa­nies, while the min­er­als dug out by small-scale min­ers don’t even fea­ture in the top 10.

We there­fore rate the claim that ar­ti­sanal and small-scale min­ers are re­spon­si­ble for 90% of Nige­ria’s min­eral pro­duc­tion as in­cor­rect.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.