Minister calls for CBN support for solid minerals sector

The Minister of State for Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Dr Uche Ogah has attributed the snail speed development in the minerals sector to a lack of support by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Dr Uche Ogah stated this at the opening of a two day public and investigative hearing on four bills organized by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy in Abuja.

The bills under consideration are The Nigerian Minerals Development Corporation Establishment Bill 2021; Solid Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission Establishment Bill 2021; Institute of Bitumen Management Establishment Bill 2021; Explosive Act 1964 Repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2021 and a motion on the urgent need to investigate the loss of 9 Billion dollars annually due to illegal mining and smuggling of Gold.

Dr Uche Ogah stressed that It is unfortunate that the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) did not believe in the mineral sector as an alternative to the nation’s mono-economy.

“If they believe in us, if they support us the way they are supporting agriculture, we will do wonders for this country.”

“This is one ministry that is untaped, that they don’t want to know and that can change the Landscape of our revenue .”

“Equally we need to ask the ministry of finance to speed up the export Policy on solid minerals because that is the only way to have operators into the sector.”

Ogah also called for research for the development of the sector.

Declaring the public hearing open, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan who was represented by the Deputy Minority Leader, Phillips Aduda, tasked stakeholders in the minerals sector to checkmark intruders to enable government at all levels to generate revenue for the development of the country.

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