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Mining Council To Chart Future Of Minerals, Metals Sector

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The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Oladele Alake.
The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Oladele Alake.

In a bid to foster the growth and development of Nigeria’s minerals and metals sector, stakeholders are set to converge in Ilorin, Kwara State, for the 5th Edition of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development (NCMMRD). 

This crucial meeting, scheduled from Monday, January 15, to Wednesday, January 17, 2024, aims to explore key thematic areas that will propel the sector towards rapid socio-economic growth.

The theme for this year’s edition, “Minerals and Metals Sector: A Panacea for Economic Growth and Diversity,” underscores the significance of the sector in steering the country towards a more diversified and economically robust future. The Minister for Solid Minerals Development,Dr. Oladele Alake will address the council, comprising representatives from the ministries, honourable commissioners, permanent secretaries overseeing mineral resources at the state levels, and various stakeholders in the minerals and metals sector. Notable participants include the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Women In Mining (WIM), Minerals Resources and Environmental Committee (NIREMCO) and other industry operators.

The thematic structure of the council will explore sub-themes, and stakeholders are invited to submit memoranda of not more than five pages in both soft and hard copies on the following topics:

a. Community development and inclusiveness in the Nigerian minerals and metals sector: Prospects and problems

b. Curbing the menace of illegal mining operations in Nigeria

c. Technological innovation: A pivotal game changer for the minerals and metals industry

d. Lithium as energy transition minerals in Nigeria: Prospects and challenges

e. Minerals resources management: Key to the Realisation of economic diversification for the nation.

These sub-themes highlight critical aspects of the sector, touching on community engagement, combating illegal mining, leveraging technological advancements, exploring energy transition minerals like lithium and effective management of mineral resources for economic diversification.

Alake has consistently emphasised the pivotal role of the minerals sector, positioning it as the next petroleum of Nigeria, especially in light of the global shift from fossil fuels to green energy. This aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to diversify the economy and elevate millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

The three-day event will feature technical sessions during the first two days, focusing on in-depth discussions and presentations. The third day will host the Executive Session of the Council, co-chaired by the ministers of solid minerals development and steel development.

Reflecting on the impact of the previous edition, during which thirty-one memoranda were considered, it’s evident that the council plays a crucial role in shaping policies and strategies for the sector. Approved recommendations from the last edition included mandates for state governments to appoint and inaugurate Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee Chairmen (MIREMCO) in all 36 states and the FCT. Additionally, there were calls for ongoing sensitisation and training of artisanal miners, expediting action on cases submitted to the Federal Ministry of Justice and enforcing the “use it or lose it” principle of the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) to prevent illegal mining and attract genuine investors.

As this edition unfolds, it is poised to serve as a platform for robust discussions, innovative solutions, and collaborative efforts that will shape the trajectory of the minerals and metals sector, contributing significantly to Nigeria’s economic growth and diversity.

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