The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has acquired and installed high sensitivity seismometers and tilet meters for monitoring and detecting earth movements and earthquake in parts of the country.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Bawa Bwari Abubakar, disclosed this on Thursday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy to defend his ministry’s 2019 budget.
Abubakar, who said that the earth movement monitoring device was acquired as part of the measures to address the country’s geological security, explained the device was installed at the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) premises, Gwagwalada, Bwari and Kaduna.
The Minister said that the effort was accelerated in response to the recent persistent earth tremors experienced in the country most especially around Abuja.
He said that the proactive measure became necessary to predict, detect and monitor earth movement and earthquake related activities.
He listed insufficient and untimely release of funds, direct intervention by states in the management of mineral resources, multiple taxation by states and local governments and inadequate geological data as some of the challenges facing the mining sector.
The minister also listed limited supporting infrastructure, insecurity of mine fields especially in Zamfara, Kaduna, Plateau and North East and illegal mining and community challenges.
He noted that there was no doubt the mining sector could do better if leakages were blocked.
The committee chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, asked the minister to furnish the committee with detailed breakdown of the budget.
The committee believed that the revenue capacity of the sector should be raised for the country to benefit.
The committee also said that steps should be taken to position the sector to take its pride of place in the scheme of things in the country.
The ministry proposed N20, 480,057,749 as its budget estimate for 2019.
Out of the amount the sum of N8,559,365,940 is for personnel cost, N1,726,419,857 is for overhead while N10,194,271,952 is for capital projects.