The Federal Government has released N142.6M to encourage more research and development in the minerals and metals sector.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, made this known during the stakeholders’ validation exercise for the research development and collaboration with some tertiary institutions in Abuja.
These institutions are the University of Ibadan, University of Port-Harcourt, University of Lagos, University of Jos, Ebonyi State University, Nasarawa State University, Federal University of Technology, Kaduna Polytechnic, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University amongst others.
He added that these institutions were carefully selected by an independent faculty of five erudite professors of proven integrity. The research covers areas of mining engineering, metallurgy and mineral processing, geological mapping, industrial and minerals utilisation/exports and energy minerals.
Adegbite further stated that, to succeed in fulfilling the mandate of the ministry on job-creation, raising the sector’s contribution to GDP of the country and promoting sustainable mining, the ministry released the sum of N142.6million to achieve this collaboration with the stakeholders whose knowledge of the sector could facilitate the journey to shared mining in Nigeria.
Also, he added that to show the importance of the collaboration and authenticate the findings of the research, it is important for stakeholders to validate the exercise, hence the essence of the workshop.
In her remarks, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, who was represented by the director, special duties, Mr. Yisau Adepoju, said in the ministry has entered into a collaboration with these reputable institutions to carry out this research in specific areas intended to open up new frontiers in the mining sector by providing the much-needed data on the Nigerian solid minerals’ sector endorsement.
Akinlade added that for the findings to be acceptable, it is customary for critical stakeholders to come together to give it life and pave the way for its acceptance and implementations. This is what gave rise to this validation exercise by eminent stakeholders.
She stated that the validation of the research findings by all the stakeholders will unlock the potentials and add value to the sector.
A statement by the ministry’s director of press and public relations, signed by Ijomah Opia, said Akinlade also told the stakeholders that the ministry is ready to partner with interested stakeholders in the areas of research, exploration, exploitation, beneficiation and the value chain in the sector, especially the gaps that would be identified in this research to create confidence and attract investors to the sector.
The chairman of the committee, Prof. Gbenga Okunola, in his remarks, thanked the ministry for giving them the privilege to serve. He disclosed that the objectives of the steering committee include achieving the development mantra in the sector through collaborative research works such as this.