By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has restated the federal government’s commitment to supporting investors towards growing and developing the Nigerian Mining Sector.
The President who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume gave the commitment in his remarks At The Opening Ceremony Of The 8Th Edition Of The Nigeria Mining Week, 16Th-18Th October, 2023
In his words” The Nigerian Mining Week is more than just a conference and an exhibition, it is a networking platform designed for the global mining community, particularly to showcase the huge potential of the Nigeria mining industry
“This year’s theme “”Capitalizing On Nigeria’s Critical Mineral Resources For Its Growth,” has been carefully chosen to amplify to the world the giant strides we are trying to accomplish in the mining sector
According to him: “This year’s themes underscore the Federal government’s commitment to sustainable development, and collaboration within the mining industry, with a special focus on maximizing Nigeria’s mining potential. He added that the devolution of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development demonstrates the resolve of the federal government to improve its contributions to the development of the economy of the country
“Government shall continue to ensure a good business environment for investors to invest in the sector by ensuring policy consistency, and adequate security, he stated
In his remarks, the minister of solid minerals development, Dr Dele Alake said “to demonstrate Mr President’s unwavering commitment to the development of the Nigerian Mining Sector, as a significant source of economic diversification of the country’s monolithic revenue base, we charted a new direction with the articulation of the Seven-Point Transformation Agenda, which focuses on the establishment of the national mining company; development of Big, standardized and internationally certified Data; formalisation of artisanal mining through co-operatives; security of mines in collaboration with the security agencies; conscientisation of mining communities to ensure their lawful rights and commit licenses to community empowerment and the strategic promotions of our country’s vast mineral deposits for indigenous and international investments.
He said the years theme “ resonates deeply with our aspirations for our beloved nation. Nigeria, endowed with an abundance of mineral resources, is set for a great leap of transformation. If we manage these resources judiciously and responsibly, they can serve as the engine of our economic growth, offering employment opportunities and enhancing the well-being of our citizens.”
The minister further added that Nigeria is endowed with valuable solid minerals like Limestone, Gold, Baryte, Bitumen, Lead-Zinc, Coal, and Iron Ore, to mention but a few. This natural wealth indicates a significant reservoir poised for exploration and development. These resources can potentially reduce our dependence on oil revenues, diversify our economic base, serve as the bedrock of sustainable development across various sectors, and provide significant job creation opportunities.
“As we promote responsible and developmental extraction, we propagate value addition across the value chain as the essential principle of mineral development.
As we convene here today, I want to assure you that the Ministry of Solid Minerals is wholeheartedly dedicated to advancing the Mining Sector in Nigeria. We are actively addressing the historical challenges that have hindered our progress, including infrastructure deficits, inadequate geological data, and the emerging imperative needs for modern mining. Our ongoing efforts also encompass improving the ease of doing business within the sector, enhancing transparency, and enforcing regulations that protect the interests of Investors, the Environment, the Mining Host Community, and Gender Issues.”
Alake listed “ Elevating Nigeria’s Mining Sector Through Beneficiation and Value-Addition, Harnessing Technological Innovation, Infrastructure Development for Mining, Empowering Local Communities, Gender Sensitivity and Compliance to Child’s Rights as well as Sustained Geo-Science Data Generation as some of the strategic focus areas that shall be the hallmark of the present Administration’s drive to sustainably drive the Mining Sector to increase its contribution to the nation’s GDP significantly.
Also speaking, the minister of steel development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu said Nigeria is endowed with an array of critical minerals such as coal, tin, lead, limestone, and iron ore, among many others, adding that proper harnessing of the mineral, hold the key to not only diversifying our economy but also significantly increasing our revenue streams. They are the bedrock upon which we can build a more prosperous, self-sufficient, and industrially advanced Nigeria.
He said“We have set out motions to diversify Nigeria’s economy and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by transforming the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCOL) complex into a Free Trade Zone, and designation of 24,000-hectare land of Ajaokuta as an Industrial Park. This strategic initiative aims to revitalize the steel industry, create jobs, and stimulate economic growth in the region thus creating an industrial park in the ancient city of Ajaokuta.
This is in addition to the development of a three-year plan for Ajaokuta, and a broader five-year plan to expand steel production to other parts of the country. This comprehensive approach aims to harness Nigeria’s vast iron ore resources and leverage them for industrial growth.
As we embark on this monumental task, we carry the hopes and aspirations of a nation eager to harness the immense potential of its steel sector on our shoulders. The journey may be challenging, but it is a journey toward a brighter, more industrially empowered Nigeria.
In his welcome remarks, the President, of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Dele Ayanleke said this year’s edition is coming with a unique peculiarity as a result of some positive coincidences which include a new national administration under the leadership of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, and newly appointed overseers of the various ministries are drawing up agendas that will make them successfully fulfil their mandates under the umbrella of the Renewed Hope.
Stakeholders will also agree with me that the solid minerals sector is generating a heated interest at the moment, especially from the lower tiers of government. Though this is coming with some constitutional and legal challenges, we believe that the articulate management of those challenges will provide a workable template for the streamlining of all legal and regulatory frameworks that will accelerate the growth of the sector in line with the 7-Point Agenda, recently unfolded by the Honorable Minister of Solid Minerals Development.
“It is also of importance to mention the coincidence of the global energy transition that is widely gaining momentum and the fact that Nigeria is richly endowed with the minerals that are highly needed for this global agenda”.
In view of the foregoing, therefore, the Miners Association of Nigeria, together with our partners, envisage robust conversations that will birth pragmatic actions towards the accelerated growth of the sector to provide a veritable pivot for the diversification and broadening of the national economic space.
“These conversations must also come up with proactive recommendations to address all challenges militating against the growth of the sector; be it resource control and state interventions, insecurity, inadequate human and logistic capacities of the regulatory bodies, illegality and banditry in all ramifications, uncontrolled involvement of foreign nationals, inadequate value addition and raw exportation of our mineral resources and such like.”