SMDF to Focus On Increasing Export Proceeds, Job Creation


The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Solid Minerals Development Fund, Fatima Shinkafi, had said that the major focus of SMDF is to grow fund by attracting foreign investment, increasing export proceeds and as well, create jobs for Nigerians, hence the partnership with African Finance Corporation.

She said this while addressing journalists after a strategic meeting with the Committee on Solid Minerals, Chaired by Sen.Sampson Ekong.

According to her, SMDF’s partnership with African Finance Corporation (AFC) is to deploy more resources for the generation of more geo scientific-data that will assist investors in making informed decisions on critical minerals.

She said “Last year, we signed a key partnership agreement with the African Finance Corporation to fund Greenfield exploration, which is a data driven project that will attract investment into the sector. And we have several artisanal projects as well. 80% of the sector is currently artisanal”

“Our focus is to grow fund to impact and create jobs to mitigate against the current economic situation, to increase forex earnings from exports.

“ If we can increase the critical mass of investment and export proceeds, we can increase our Forex and strengthen the Naira”

In his submission, Senator Sampson Ekong who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Solid minerals highlighted the areas in which the Committee through legislation, will collaborate with SMDF to strengthen the current policy which is guiding Solid Mineral Development Fund and as well perform its oversight function.

He said “We are committed to working closely with key players so that we can have drive what we need to drive for the sector. I have been very clear that God in his benevolence have been very merciful with Nigeria. We are so richly endowed. We we have so much for our people and for Africa.

“So what we did was look at the gaps and see how those gaps can be addressed. In terms of the legal framework, in terms of policy, in terms of implementation, and it is a work in progress. So through this partnership, we are going to explore areas of collaboration that is very key, so it was a great meeting. It laid a strong foundation for growth”