In a significant move to revamp Nigeria’s solid minerals sector, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, has joined forces with the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) to enhance data gathering for de-risking investments in the mining industry.
The Minister for Solid Minerals, Dr. Oladele Alake announced this collaborative effort during a visit by the president of the Africa Finance Corporation, Mr. Samaila Zubairu.
Alake emphasised the importance of building on the existing partnership between the AFC and the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), an agency of the ministry, to gather critical data required to advance the $700 billion worth of minerals beneath Nigeria’s surface, utilising a robust big data strategy.
The minister stressed that all efforts to position Nigeria as a hub for solid minerals development would be in vain without substantial improvements in data gathering. He asserted that the Ministry would heavily invest in generating precise and concise data, enabling potential investors to make well-informed decisions.
Alake also hinted at collaborative initiatives between the SMDF and the AFC aimed at catalysing the development of the mineral sector. These initiatives align directly with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, with a particular focus on foreign direct investment, job creation, and increased fiscal revenues. The agreement underscores the importance of establishing processing centres to concentrate on value-added products as part of the recently announced Transformation Agenda.
Recognising the growing partnership between the Africa Finance Corporation and the Solid Minerals Development Fund in identifying and supporting mining projects in Nigeria’s developmental stages, Alake highlighted the CEO’s visit as a testament to the mining sector’s critical role in Nigeria’s economic growth and prosperity.
Zubairu expressed the necessity of developing a framework for partnering with the ministry to harness Nigeria’s abundant solid minerals. The sheer volume and value of these minerals make it imperative to collaborate with the Ministry to drive rapid economic development in the country.
The AFC president pledged support for the BIG Data project, value-added processing centres, efforts to curb insecurity in the sector and assistance for local mining companies.
This partnership marks a significant step forward in advancing Nigeria’s solid minerals sector and creating an enabling environment for investment and economic growth.