The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the purchase of 38 patrol vehicles for Mines Inspectorates across the country at a total cost of N327 million.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.
According to him, each of the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will get one of the Nissan four-wheel patrol vehicle, while additional one will be given to Lagos State because of its size.
He also noted that no vehicle was purchased for mines and steel inspectorate division in the last 10 years to check illegal mining activities.
He said: “FEC approves the direct procurement of Nissan four-wheel Patrol vehicles for Mines Inspectorate division of mines and steel in the 36 states and the FCT.
“For a decade no vehicle has been purchased for the mines and steel Inspectorate division to oversee what’s going on in our various states in artisinal and informal mining situations, surveillance of illegal mining activities taking place and the various challenges we face on the field.
“You may have read for example even though it is not directly linked to the mining operation, what happened in Zamfara yesterday and the number of people that were killed. I mean miners that were killed by bandits operating in that area. Therefore as part of our road map, a surveillance task force has also been established with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence, EFCC, Police and the Civil Defence.”
The approval, Fayemi said, is also part of the government’s commitment to support made in Nigeria products.