• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Alake to mining investors: No value addition plan, no license

FG to support miners prioritising local content

Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development has affirmed the resolve of the federal government to foreclose the acquisition of mining licenses by prospective investors without requisite plans for local value addition.

According to the minister who played host to members of the House Committee on Solid Minerals on an oversight visit to the ministry, the development will boost job creation in the sector.

“We are no longer going to allow anybody or license any company that wants to go into the mineral sector without giving us a plan for local value addition like processing g, refining and this has a multiplier effect on the economy.

“It instantly generates employment rather than a few people carting away lithium, gold, and the likes to other countries to sell. These minerals must now be processed in Nigeria, creating more value and beneficiation for local communities where they are sourced,” Alake said.

He also assured the legislators of the significant contribution of sub-nationals to mining development, stressing that state chairmen of the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) and five members of the committee are nominated by state governments.

Highlighting the renewed interest of the international community in Nigeria’s mineral resources, Alake stressed that the 7-point agenda of the ministry has put the mining sector on the global front burner.

“The importance of this committee cannot be overstated because whether we like it or not, we are at the cusp of history and it does beckon on us individually and collectively whether as executive or legislature to change the paradigm of Nigeria’s economic fortunes because we have to diversify our economy away from the mono-cultural dependency on oil.

“Again, that underscores the significance of this committee because of the importance of the ministry in that regard. That is why I view your visit here today with a sense of proprietary, responsibility, and appreciation of the oversight functions that you are saddled with.

“With the support of the Permanent Secretary, management and the House committee, we have been able to project the sector globally and the result of our efforts culminated in my election as the Chairman of the Africa Minerals Strategy Group (AMSG) on the sidelines of the Future Minerals Forum (FMF) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia based on our 7-point agenda which was applauded by all and sundry. This is a group that consists of all African countries’ Ministers of Solid Minerals/Mineral Resources,” he said.

On security, the Minister revealed that the Federal Government has finalized a new security outfit to secure the nation’s natural resources that will incorporate the existing structure of the Nigeria Security & Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) with h infusion of technology and specialized training.

According to the Minister, there will be a command in every state of the country and will involve the infusion of technology, adding that modern-day security architecture is predicated on technology.

“We have come up with what we believe can stem insecurity around natural resources like solid minerals, forests, and marine economy. We decided to use the existing structure of the NSCDC because of the cumbersome process of establishing a new security architecture. In terms of deterrence, the new NSCDC corps will be useful, “he asserted

“What a whole battalion can do, one single drone can do it, so the new security outfit will be largely technologically driven, and they will be under the overall command of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development (MSMD). They are to secure our mine sites, and help in stemming theft, illegal mining, and carting away of our solid minerals. The command structure of the new outfit will be inaugurated in the coming days,” the Minister affirmed.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the committee on Solid Minerals, Gaza Gbefwi stated that in fulfilling its constitutional responsibility of oversight, paid a visit to the ministry to ensure that the executive is doing what it is supposed to do for citizens to get maximum beneficiation from the mining sector.

He expressed appreciation to the Minister for cooperating with the legislature in its oversight function of checks and balances, emphasizing that the committee will do what is necessary to back up reforms with requisite legislation that will enable the executive to propel the sector into an enviable position, with significant contribution to the nation’s economy.