In a bid to attract foreign investors to Nigeria’s mining sector, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake has announced new commitments at the Mines and Money Conference in London, England.
Alake addressed global stakeholders, emphasising the government’s determination to streamline procedures, enhance security and reduce obstacles hindering mining operations.
Alake highlighted Nigeria’s unique advantages, including lower production costs due to surface mining and untapped mineral resources worth billions of dollars. Citing recent reports by KPMG, he noted that mining’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP grew from 0.3 percent to 0.85 percent last year, reflecting a year-on-year growth of 0.63 per cent.
“The country’s geological bounty encompasses over 44 distinct mineral types, found in exploitable quantities across more than 500 locations. Recently, recognizing the evolving global landscape and in response to emerging trends, Lithium has been included as a crucial strategic mineral of global consequence,” Alake told the gathering.
The minister outlined the administration’s reforms aimed at boosting investment, such as the Airborne Geophysical Survey revealing progress in solid minerals development conditions. He also highlighted partnerships with entities like German firm Geoscan for data collection and a new funding facility by the Africa Finance Corporation and the Solid Minerals Development Fund.
Alake reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring that mining operations benefit local communities and promote value addition over the wholesale export of raw minerals. He emphasised, “Nigeria is currently emphasising solid minerals beneficiation and value-addition as a panacea for quick and sustainable growth of the Mining Industry.” According to him, adding value to raw materials would create higher-value products, generate employment opportunities and boost the sector’s profitability.
The minister, through his special adviser, Kehinde Bamigbetan urged investors to support the socio-economic development of mining communities. He highlighted the recently launched revised guidelines for community development agreements, ensuring provisions for social amenities, educational support and environmental facilities, reinforcing the government’s commitment to making mining mutually beneficial for all stakeholders.