The Nigerian government has revealed that artisanal miners can access 100 million Naira loans at low-interest rates to boost the diversification of Nigeria’s mining industry.

This was disclosed in an interview by Nigeria’s Minister of mines and steel development, Olamilekun Adegbite, in Abuja.

He added that the first step towards accessing the loans is for artisanal miners to form cooperatives.

Adegbite noted that artisanal miners can expand their operations by registering with cooperative societies, which will enable them to access as much as 100 million Naira loan at only five percent interest rate.

The minister added that the loan repayment could span a period of 20 years, which is fixed at a low rate for artisanal miners to encourage diversification of the economy.

10 miners form cooperatives of 10 people when approaching the ministry for the loan  to make the process seamless, adding that doing so makes them a priority for the ministry, which enables them with the appropriate equipment and license.