FG, Stakeholders to Revitalize Mining Sector, Address Challenges
By Fatima Saka
The federal government of Nigeria has said to partner with the stakeholders to revitalize the mining sector to address the numerous challenges revolving around the industry towards infrastructure deficits, inadequate geological data, and the emerging imperative needs for modern mining.
This was made known by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development Dr. Dele Alake, while delivering his ministerial speech at the 8th edition of Nigeria Mining Week on Tuesday in Abuja.
Emphasizing on the theme of the year, “Capitalizing On Nigeria’s Critical Mineral Resources For Its Growth”, the Minister said that Nigeria endowed with 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 the citizens.”
Speaking on transparency, Dr Alake said that this improves 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.
“The Ministry is firmly committed to conducting mining activities that are environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, and economically beneficial. We believe mining operations should serve as catalysts for community development and job creation and adhere to Industry Best Practices that minimize ecological footprint.
“As we promote responsible and developmental extraction, we propagate value addition across the value chain as the essential principle of mineral development.
“However, it is imperative to emphasize that the task ahead of us is not one that the Government can tread alone. It calls for collective efforts and synergic collaboration from all stakeholders, including the various tiers of Government, Various arms of Government such as Mining Companies, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Regulatory Agencies, Civil Society Organizations, and Traditional Institutions. Together, through dialogue and shared commitment, we will chart the course toward the sustainable development of our mining industry.
In his speech, Minister Of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Abubakar Audu said the nation’s natural resources are the bedrock upon which Nigeria can build a more prosperous, self-sufficient, and industrially advanced Nigeria.
He further stressed the role of the steel sector is the journey towards revitalizing the nation’s economy. “Steel, as we know, is the backbone of industrialization. It is a core ingredient for infrastructure development, manufacturing, and construction.”
“Our commitment to developing the steel sector is unwavering because it holds the potential to create numerous jobs, attract investments, and contribute significantly to our Gross Domestic Product.
“It is on this heel that 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.”
In his welcome address the Mr. Cyril Azobu Partner & Mining Leader, PwC, Nigeria, said the Nigeria mining industry is currently attracting a lot of investor attention in exploration due to laudable policies that are helping to de-risk a sector.
“The Nigerian integrated mineral exploration project NEMA is focused on the provision of bankable geo-scientific data to give investors the confidence to invest in the mining sector.
“With this massive untapped exploration opportunities and widespread project developments upside, the law remains the investment destination of choice for discerning mining companies and investors.