Sophia Moore
Tue, Sep 5, 2023 8:40 PM

Nigerian Solid Minerals Development Fund Denies Involvement in 2015 Elections and African Cup of Nations

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Nigerian Solid Minerals Development Fund Denies Involvement in 2015 Elections and African Cup of Nations
The Nigerian Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) has vehemently denied allegations that it was involved in funding the 2015 elections and the African Cup of Nations. The Executive Secretary of SMDF, Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi, categorically stated that the reports were unfounded, clarifying that the fund had only been capitalized a year ago and did not possess the resources to support such ventures. The SMDF emphasized its commitment to its mandate and called for stakeholders in the sector to work together to achieve the goals set forth.

In a recent statement, the Nigerian Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) has refuted claims that it was involved in the funding of the 2015 elections and the African Cup of Nations. The reports, which surfaced in some media outlets, accused the fund of illegally disbursing billions of Naira and millions of dollars for extraneous expenses, including the mentioned events and various infrastructure projects.

However, the Executive Secretary of SMDF, Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi, expressed surprise at the allegations, stating that the report was news to her. Shinkafi denied the fund's involvement in the African Cup of Nations or the elections, emphasizing that the agency had only been capitalized a year ago and did not possess the funds to support such ventures.

"This is news to me. I like football. I like football. But I've never funded the African Cup of Nations. I've never funded any of those things," Shinkafi stated. "I think it was a committee report they were quoting. The functions of the Solid Minerals Development Fund is totally different from that of Natural Resource Development Fund (NRDF)."

According to Shinkafi, the confusion may have arisen due to the similarity of names between the two funds, but she clarified that the SMDF had never provided funding for the African Cup of Nations or any similar events. She emphasized that the SMDF had only recently been capitalized and, therefore, did not possess the resources to engage in such activities.

The SMDF, established in 2007, operates as an agency under the Ministry of Solid Minerals. Its primary objective is to promote the development of Nigeria's solid minerals sector. The fund's mandate and responsibilities are distinct from those of the Natural Resource Development Fund (NRDF).

Responding to the allegations of fund disbursement for extraneous expenses, including the 2015 elections and infrastructure projects, Shinkafi clarified that any potential misuse of the NRDF would have occurred prior to the immediate past and current administrations. She distanced the SMDF from any alleged abuses, asserting the fund's commitment to its mandate and dedication to promoting the growth and development of the solid minerals industry.

Shinkafi commended the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) for its timely Solid Minerals Industry Report, emphasizing the importance of informed policies for increased revenue and sectoral growth. She called on all stakeholders in the sector to collaborate and step up their efforts to achieve the set goals as outlined in the 7-point agenda.

Regarding the Minister of Solid Minerals' proposal to establish a state-owned company, Shinkafi welcomed the announcement and dismissed concerns about conflicting roles between the proposed company and the SMDF. She drew a parallel with the relationship between the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), stating that distinct roles and mandates allowed for reinforcement and cooperation.

In conclusion, the SMDF vehemently denies any involvement in funding the 2015 elections or the African Cup of Nations. The fund's Executive Secretary, Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi, emphasized that the allegations were unfounded and misleading. She reaffirmed the SMDF's commitment to its mandate and called for the collaboration of all stakeholders to boost the development of Nigeria's solid minerals sector.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-05 News

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