Buhari met serious challenge in mining sector, minister tells delegates in UK
In line with the commitment of the leadership of the Federal Government’s efforts to diversify the economy and provide jobs for the teeming youth, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite, has highlighted reforms in the mining sector aimed at fast-tracking national growth.
Minister, who was the Chief Host at the Conference in the United Kingdom titled, “Nigeria Beyond Oil” seized the opportunity to showcase Nigeria’s Mineral and Mining potentials and the incentives put in place to make mining more attractive for investors.
This was contained in a statement issued and signed by Mrs Idowu Jokpeyibo on behalf of Director of Press of the ministry and made available to Tribune Online in Abuja, on Wednesday.
Adegbite, according to the statement, opined that Nigeria was being perceived as an oil country should serve as a hub of investments.
He, however, noted that the country has been unwilling victims of the oil mineral curse which created a huge gap in the solid mineral management.
This, according to him, brought about Nigeria’s 30 years of stagnation in the mineral industry.
“President Muhammadu Buhari administration met serious challenges in the mining sector occasioned by long neglect. It was apparent that we must re-enact the ‘Nigeria before oil’ policies when the sector contributed as much as 5.6% in 1980 to the national GDP,” he added.
The minister said that the present administration recognised mining as a strategic income stream in the face of dwindling oil revenue and look towards increasing its contribution to the national GDP by 3% in the year 2025.
He then assured participants at the Conference that the Nigerian Government is determined to protect direct foreign investments as indicated in the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act 2007.
“Our focus is now on de-risking the sector, by the provision of more up-to-date and comprehensive data on mineral occurrences in Nigeria and enabling a more investor-friendly environment through favourable incentives,” The minister said.
The President and CEO of African Finance Corporation (AFC), Samaila Zubairu, who was represented by the Director Natural Resources, Osam Iyahen in his presentation titled, ”Derisking African Mining Project” said the mining sector can potentially be the key driver for industrialisation on the continent.
In his presentation, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Professor Konyin Ajayi praised the strategies being put in place by the ministry, saying it would enhance the development of the sector for the realisation of economic diversification.