The Federal Government has expressed commitment in boosting investment in the solid mineral sector, saying this has informed the development of various policies to attract investment in the sector.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite, made this known during a national summit with the theme – ‘Investment promotion in the solid minerals sector’ convened by the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) in Abuja.
Represented by the ministry’s director, artisanal and small-scale mining department, Ojeka Patrick, Adegbite solicited stakeholder’s support, saying government could not reposition the sector for improved productivity alone.
“The government cannot do this alone hence the lot is thrown to the private sector to drive and steer the development of the MSD industry. Challenges abound but when we have a collective contribution both at the federal, state, local governments and even the traditional rulers and mining communities, at the end of the day we will say we have taken the right steps in all the right directions to grow the Nigerian mining industry. We hope today’s interaction will enrich all of us to get more understanding in areas that will help us take this sector to the next level,” he added.
Earlier, the Centre LSD executive director, Mr. Monday Osasah, said the summit aimed to stimulate discussion in the solid mineral sector.
According to him, the summit is part of a bigger project called strengthening civic engagement and advocacy for effective natural resource government.
“So, the summit so to speak is to bring people from the mineral bearing communities to have conversations around some issues that we feel are critical in having effective natural resource governance in Nigeria and one of them is issues around revenue beneficiation, advocacy and sensitization, collaboration and linkages in the sector because without all of this to take the sector to a greater level will be difficult for Nigeria. So, the need to bring stakeholders together to brainstorm became imperative which is why the summit was organized,” he added.
In her remarks, the president of Women in Mining (WIMIN), Engr. Janet Adeyemi, represented by Funmi Akinyemi, expressed delight that women were being mainstreamed in the project, even as she stressed the need for Nigeria to maximise potentials in the solid minerals sector to enable it contribute maximally in the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
In his goodwill message, the deputy director, mines inspectorate department at the MMSD, Fred Ewa, averred there are numerous opportunities which abound in the sector along the mining value chain to stimulate wealth creation and provision of employment for the nation’s teeming population.
He, however, noted that wealth creation in the mining sector could not be achieved without addressing the issue of leadership development in the mining sector, in particular and the extractive industries in general, adding it was imperative for the issues to be resolved to increase confidence in the sector and enable robust investments.
Similarly, the technical adviser Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engr. Auwal Bununu, underscored the need for a public private collaboration on the development of the sector.
“We have seen that all policies, programmes, strategies have been put in place by government on mineral development but the collaboration is to establish a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for operation of these policies and strategies. So, we are now having this collaboration to establish a special purpose vehicle for public private partnership for the implementation of all policies, regulation and strategy that have been put in place,” he added.