Nigeria Govt Screens Applicants for $150m Solid Mineral Grant

ABUJA – SCREENING of applicants for a $150million joint World Bank and Federal Government of Nigeria Solid Mineral fund has started in Abuja, it was learnt.

It was learnt that the screening is aimed at strengthening the sector to ensure that only competent operators get the grant.

It was gathered that many of the operators have been lobbying government‘s officials to scale through the hurdles, which the government and the global banking body have put in place to wade off unqualified players.

An official of the Ministry said it would not be business as usual for many applicants, as the government planned that only the best would benefit from the facility.According to him, a grant is different is from a loan, adding that the Ministry of Solid Minerals wants to give the grant to people that would make good use of it.

He said: “The government of Nigeria and the World Bank do not want the money to be misused by the beneficiaries. If you are an applicant and you are asking for the grant to buy equipment that would be used in the Nigeria Solid Mineral sector, you must justify the reason you are requesting for it. A lot of verifications must take place, before you are given the money.

The officials of the government and the World Bank must ascertain the reason for the facility. That is why it is a facility, not a loan. Gone are the days when people get money and start marrying wives.”

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