The mining ministry said 1,600 applications have been received from artisanal and small-scale miners.
The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development said it has registered a total of 570 artisanal and small-scale mining cooperatives across the country.
The Director of the Department of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in the ministry, Obiora Azubike, said this, while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that out of 1,600 applications so far received from artisanal and small-scale miners to register as cooperatives; only 570 had been certified nationwide.
Mr. Azubike said that 126 mining cooperatives were registered in the North Central geopolitical zone, while 197 cooperative were registered in the North West.
He added that 101mining cooperatives had been registered in the North East, while 42, 42 and 61 cooperatives were registered in the South South, South East and South West zones respectively.
Besides, the director said that a minimum of three persons from each of the 570 registered mining cooperatives would be trained irrespective of the number of cooperatives in respective zones.
“We categorised the cooperatives on state-by-state basis because they are not uniformly spread. Some states do have more cooperatives, while others have less. ”
“The total number of registered cooperatives is 570; we are still processing more applications, as we keep on receiving fresh applications on a daily basis.”
“Application forms are issued by our field officers in all the states. When we receive the forms, we carry out verification to ensure that the information in the forms is correct.”
“If the applicant fulfils all the registration criteria, we then register such an outfit as a mining cooperative,’’ he added.
Mr. Azubike said that the ministry carried out the training of mining cooperative members every year through its extension service training programme.
“We invite members of the mining cooperatives to a particular place for the lectures and training materials are given to them.”
“Before now, the language of instruction was English, but we have introduced local languages. In fact, we have started this year with Zamfara State.”
“In fact, we have carried out a capacity building activity in Zamfara. We have started giving instructions in local languages that are being spoken in particular areas where the operation is going on,’’ he said.
Mr. Azubike said that the extension service training for this year was scheduled to hold in the South-South, North-West and North-Central geopolitical zones.
He, however, said that the one for the North-West zone had already been organised in Zamfara.
He said that the extension service training for South-South and North-Central zones would be held simultaneously in December, adding that the ministry had placed advertisement for the event, while completing the procurement procedures.
He, nonetheless, said that the training for the South-West, South-East and North-East geopolitical zones were carried out last year.
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