The Federal Government  plans to spend N20b more on data exploration, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development Dr Kayode Fayemi has said.

The money, he said would employed to further generate information on other aspects of exploration which has been a major challenge in the sector.

He also revealed that the government has paid for and retrieved arial survey that was conducted years ago, but was not paid for by previous governments, that can now be used by mining investors.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project (MINDIVER), done in collaboration with the World Bank, Fayemi said Nigeria now takes the lead in regional efforts to develop mining, especially within the framework of the Africa Mining Vision.

He said: “It is noteworthy that in addition to funding support from multilateral agencies, partnerships on technical cooperation have also been brokered or re-activated with several foreign governments.

“Existing technical partnerships have been operationalised with the governments of South Africa, China, Australia, Canada, the UK and US. Nigeria now takes the lead in regional efforts to develop mining, especially within the framework of the Africa Mining Vision., he stated.

Fayemi said he ministry is finalising plans to spend another N20billon on exploration and the process has just been concluded, saying many of our expert institutions applied and we believe it will lead to further information being generated and further data being provided, in those area of exploration which have been a challenge.

He said the ministry has  retrieved the Arial survey that was conducted years ago, which was not paid for by government, we finally paud for it and retrieved the data for the use of mining investors.

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