The Federal Government has revealed that it is intensifying efforts at attracting direct foreign mining investment for the actualisation of the diversification of the economy from crude oil to mining.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, made this known when he received a delegation from Optiva Resources Ltd, a UK-based investment organisation and their investment advisers, NPL Advisors, during a courtesy visit to the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja. He disclosed that Nigeria has huge investment opportunities in the mining and minerals sector.
While expressing delight that the visit was coming just a few months after the “Mines and Money” conference held in London recently”, Adegbite noted that the ministry has become technologically savvy in its bid to make it easy for potential investors to access information, adding that investors can now apply for licence and certificate online.
He enjoined the delegation to visit other agencies of the ministry, to fully grasp the mining potentials in the country.
Earlier, managing director, NPL Advisors, Francis Nwokedi, revealed that even though Optiva Resources Ltd has invested in several projects across Africa, it is the first time it is showing a keen interest in coming to Nigeria.
Reiterating the huge opportunities in the mining and minerals sector in the country, he disclosed that the purpose of the visit was to look at areas the organisation can invest in.
In his remarks, the director-general, Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Abdulrazaz Garba, stated that Optiva Resources Ltd’s interest to invest in the mining sector is very encouraging as the Federal Government has provided funds for massive exploration of the mineral potentials of the country.
Giving an elaborate run-down of the agency’s activities, Garba disclosed that seven strategic minerals – coal, bitumen, limestone, iron ore, barites, gold and lead/zinc ore – have been identified as low hanging fruits in the mining roadmap.
Similarly, the director, Investment Promotion and Mineral Trade (IPMT), Yunusa Mohammed, stated that the visit shows clearly the ministry’s effort at wooing and attracting international investors, adding that the investors were in Nigeria to look at the country’s mining assets.
A statement by the ministry’s director of press and public relations signed by Tine-Iulun M. A, said the delegation is also billed to visit the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) and the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF).