Invest in mining for better GDP, stakeholders tell FG

Stakeholders in the solid minerals mining sector of the Nigerian economy have decried the non-implementation of the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act of 2007.

They said for the true diversification of the nation’s economy to take effect, this sector must receive better investment.

Miners, officials of mining agencies, government agents and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) gave the charge in a communiqué, at the end of a one-day policy dialogue on the project: “Strengthening Civic Engagement and Advocacy for Effective Natural Resource Governance in Nigeria.”

The stakeholders had converged on Ekiti, for the programme organised by the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

The communique was signed by Mr Adu Adeyinka of the Ekiti State Mineral Resources Development Agency; Mr Olamide Ogunlade, New Initiative for Social Development (NISD), Ekiti State; Monday Osasah, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), Prince Adewale Adekunle of the Ijero/Alliance Gems Miners Association Ekiti State; Mr James Okothi, Felspar miners, Ijero-Ekiti; Oba Agbeleoba, the Elepe of Epe-Ekiti in Ijero Local Government Area of Ekiti State and Mrs Adefemi Bola, of the National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS), Ekiti State.

They said the “Federal Government should increase investment in the sector, give incentives, and assist the states, in co-investing, in mining sector to ensure improve contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

The forum also said “The Federal Government and all relevant stakeholders should take the implementation of the Mining Act 2007 and the current road map seriously, as proper implementation can create employment, increase revenue and ensure prosperity for all Nigerians.”

While commending the Federal Government, for the recent launch of the road map by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and its current reform effort to develop the solid mineral sector, the lamented that the “non-implementation of the Nigeria Mineral and Mining Act 2007, weak mechanism for gathering, disseminating and archiving critical geological data required by investors and policy makers, has continued to encumber the growth and development of the solid mineral sector.”

They advised that “to achieve effective reform of the sector, government at both federal and state levels should take working with citizens seriously, to JMKenable both parties contribute to the development of the sector, so that employment and wealth can be created for the benefit of all.”