The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has installed high sensitivity seismometers and tilet meters for the monitoring and detection of earth movements and earthquake in the country.
Mines and Steel Development Minister Bawa Bwari Abubakar dropped the hint yesterday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy to defend his ministry’s budget.
Abubakar, who said that the device was acquired as part of the measures to address the country’s geological security, explained that 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 earth tremors experienced in the country, especially around Abuja.
He said that the proactive measure became necessary in order to predict, detect and monitor earth movement and earthquake-related activities.
Abubakar listed insufficient and untimely release of funds, direct intervention by states in the management of mineral resources, multiple taxation by states and local government areas and inadequate geological data, as some of the challenges facing mining sector.
Besides, he said that limited supporting infrastructure, insecurity of minefields, especially in Zamfara, Kaduna, Plateau and the Northeast, as well as illegal mining and community challenges were other obstacles.
He noted that there was no doubt that the mining sector could do better if leakages were blocked.
Committee ChairmanSenator Enyinnaya Abaribe urged the minister to furnish the panel with detailed breakdown of the budget.
The committee believed that the revenue capacity of the sector should be raised for the country to benefit, adding that steps should be taken to position the sector to take its pride of place in the economic diversification policy of the Federal Government.
The ministry proposed N20, 480,057,749 as its budget estimate for this year.
Out of the amount, N8,559,365,940 is for personnel cost, N1,726,419,857 is for overhead while N10,194,271,952 is for capital projects