Abuja - Musa Sada, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, has denied the allegation that the N650 million earmarked by the Federal Government for the assistance of Zamfara State lead poison victims had been embezzled.
Sada, while briefing journalists in Abuja on Monday, said the N650 million in question had not been released to his ministry, even though it received the Federal Government's approval.
He assured that whenever the money was released, the ministry would make judicious use of it to the victims.
He also denied the allegations that the ministry did not do anything to assist the 150 lead poison victims who died in Zamfara State since 2010.
He said that as soon as th incident happened, the ministry inaugurated a three-man committee to investigate it and submit its report to the ministry for appropriate action.
Sada explained that he also informed the Federal Executive Council of this incident and President Goodluck Jonathan constituted a committee made up of the ministers of finance, environment, with Sada as the chairman, to find out the cause of the incident.
Represented by Linus Awute, Sada said that the ministry had alerted some world bodies such as World Bank, WHO, and other international NGOs on the victims' plight.
He said the ministry organised the miners into cooperative societies, to enable them to obtain loans from banks and ensure that a more scientific system of mining was imbibed by the victims of lead poison.
Sada said the ministry has also provided some facilities to aid the mining artisans in their activities