FG Shifts Focus from Hydrocarbons to Solid Minerals to Boost GDP and Combat Climate Change
By Fatima Saka
The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced a significant shift in its economic strategy, transitioning from a heavy reliance on hydrocarbons to prioritize the solid minerals sector as a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and to address the challenges of climate change.
Dr. Oladele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, made this announcement during a meeting with a delegation from the Miners Association of Nigeria, led by the National President, Mr. Dele Ayanleke, in Abuja.
The delegation included representatives from the VUKA group, co-organizers of the upcoming Nigeria Mining Week, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, a leading accounting firm.
Dr. Alake commended the Association for their valuable recommendations and their consistent role in organizing the Mining Week. He highlighted that Nigeria has long been dependent on a mono-cultural economy, emphasizing that the transition to solid minerals is long overdue.
He stated, “Our vision is to make solid minerals our pride, a major contributor to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product. We will diversify from oil to harness the potential of solid minerals for the sustainability of Nigeria. This represents our contribution to addressing climate change.”
The Minister reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to formulate policies that will revamp the regulatory framework, making it more favorable for both local and foreign investors.
Addressing the issue of state government involvement in mining, Dr. Alake expressed the Federal Government’s willingness to engage with state and local governments to resolve any related matters within the confines of the law.
Regarding the need to enhance security in the mining sector to maximize its potential, the Minister disclosed plans to deploy advanced technology and establish an inter-agency taskforce to address security challenges comprehensively. He sought a partnership with the Miners Association of Nigeria to strengthen capacity in this area, ultimately contributing to the growth and revitalization of the sector.
In response, Mr. Dele Ayanleke, the National President of the Miners Association of Nigeria, expressed his confidence in the seven-point agenda presented by the Minister of Solid Minerals. He believes that this agenda, under the renewed hope agenda of the current administration, will consolidate and enhance the mining sector’s role in national development.