Solid Minerals Devt Ministry Applauds ANRML For Leading In Local Value Addition

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The Minister of Solid Minerals Development and dignitaries during the facility tour.

In a groundbreaking event underscoring Nigeria’s advancement in the minerals sector, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, has lauded African Natural Resources and Mines Limited (ANRML) for its substantial foreign investment, recognised as the largest direct investment in the Nigerian minerals sector. Alake conveyed President Tinubu’s appreciation and support for this endeavour, emphasising its pivotal role in the country’s economic restructuring efforts.

During his address at the African Natural Resources and Mines Limited (ANRML) site in Gujeni Village, Kargarko LGA, along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, Kaduna, on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, Alake emphasised the importance of local value addition in the solid minerals sector, a cornerstone of his seven-point agenda unveiled upon assuming office in August 2023. He underscored that henceforth, companies seeking licenses to operate in the minerals sector must demonstrate concrete plans for local value addition, echoing the government’s commitment to enhancing industrial development.

The minister commended ANRML for embodying this commitment by prioritising processing and refining of minerals over mere exportation, thereby catalysing multiple economic benefits for Nigeria. He applauded the company’s vision and dedication, noting its substantial investment of $600 million over the past seven years as a testament to its ambition and potential.

Alake expressed confidence in the company’s ability to significantly contribute to the nation’s economic growth trajectory, stating that its steadfast adherence to principles of local value addition serves as a beacon for the minerals sector, embodying the spirit of Nigeria’s industrial advancement and economic transformation as President Tinubu sets his sights on restructuring Nigeria’s economy.

During the event, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite unveiled a groundbreaking ventilation plan aimed at revitalising Nigeria’s steel sector. She emphasised that the initiative, endorsed and launched by President Tinubu as part of his ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda, signifies a strategic step towards achieving economic sustainability and industrial growth.

Uzoka-Anite underscored the importance of translating the president’s vision into actionable strategies, noting that the ventilation plan, meticulously crafted by the Ministry of Trade and Investment, plays a pivotal role as the cornerstone of Nigeria’s economic advancement. She highlighted the plan’s aim to address key challenges and capitalise on opportunities within the industry, particularly in attracting more investors into the steel industry to mitigate production costs and enhance affordability for consumers.

In his address, the general managing director of ANRML, Mr. Alok Gupta reflected on the company’s journey since 2016, commencing with the “Community Development Agreement and Land Acquisition” in Gujeni. He expressed optimism that the project would generate substantial wealth for Nigeria, highlighting ANRML’s mining capacity of over 5 million tonnes per annum and its production of direct reduced iron (DRI), positioning Nigeria as a prominent crude steel producer globally.

Gupta noted that ANRML has created direct and indirect employment for up to 4000 Nigerians, significantly contributing to economic growth and community development. He emphasised the company’s commitment to social responsibility, including investments in education, healthcare and infrastructure, which have uplifted host communities and stimulated local economies.

Acknowledging the crucial support of the Federal Government, particularly the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment and the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Gupta reiterated ANRML’s role in reducing steel importation, promoting local manufacturing and contributing to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In his remarks, His Royal Highness, Engr James Bitrus emphasised the importance of mutual respect and mutual benefits in fostering community development. He urged ANRML to document its social corporate responsibility efforts and focus on initiatives that directly benefit the community, such as education, healthcare and job creation.

A board member of ANRML, Dr. John Akanya expressed gratitude for the support of government ministries and called on the host community to create an enabling environment for the project’s success. He highlighted the significance of the facility tour and presentation of mementos to dignitaries as symbolic of Nigeria’s commitment to industrial growth and economic prosperity.

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