President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has disclosed plans to develop a policy document to promote ‘value addition’ on solid minerals before they are exported out of the country.
Tinubu disclosed this during the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Mining Week themed: ‘Capitalizing On Nigeria’s Critical Mineral Resources For Its Growth’, held in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, the policy was informed as a result of the losses recorded due to the export of crude mineral commodities adding that his administration was focused on maximizing Nigeria’s mining potential.
“The policy will ensure that the teeming youths in the country are meaningfully absorbed in economic ventures that will empower them while developing their skills in specialized areas of human endeavors, as well as serve as a source of generation of the much needed foreign exchange for the country.
“With this policy, the era of export of crude mineral ores from Nigeria is gone. Thus it is gratifying to note that many companies in Nigeria have already adjusted their business plans to this new normal and others are encouraged to do the same,” he said.
Representing the president, George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said that the Tinubu-led administration was committed to creating an enabling business environment for genuine investors to thrive in Nigeria.
This, according to him, will be done by ensuring policy consistency, creating and maintaining fiscal and monetary policies, and providing adequate security and infrastructure.
“Nigeria is known globally for oil and gas resources, which is just a fraction of its natural resources, the energy sector. However, the narrative is changing because we’re determined to use every potential to industrialize this great country.
“There is no reason why Nigeria and Africa should not be leading any of the critical mineral value chains. The recent global trends in the energy transition initiatives have led to stunning discoveries, which have opened Nigeria to geological exploration works that have proven the availability of huge lithium resources of high grades across many states in Nigeria.
“This administration has been very intentional from the start to open the Solid Minerals sectors for credible business investors,” he said.
In his remarks, Dele Alake, the minister of solid mineral development noted Nigeria is endowed with valuable solid minerals like Limestone, Gold, Baryte, Bitumen, lead zinc, Coal, and Iron Ore, among others.
This natural mineral, according to him, indicates a significant reservoir poised for exploration and development. “These resources can potentially reduce our dependence on oil revenues, diversify our economic base, serve as the bedrock of sustainable development across various sectors, and provide significant job creation opportunities.
“Recent years have witnessed commendable efforts to revitalize the Mining Sector. We have worked diligently to streamline regulatory processes, create an attractive investment climate, and instill confidence in domestic and international investors.
“These efforts have borne fruit through strategic partnerships that recognize the immense potential within our borders. These partnerships will be pivotal in building a sustainable and globally competitive mining industry.”
Alake said that the vision of the Tinubu-led administration for the mining sector transcends resource extraction, adding that his leadership was committed to conducting mining activities that are environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, and economically beneficial.
For him, mining operations should serve as catalysts for community development and job creation and adhere to industry best practices that minimize ecological footprint.
“As we promote responsible and developmental extraction, we propagate value addition across the value chain as the essential principle of mineral development,” he said.
For Samukelo Medlabane, mining leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Nigeria, the conference will serve as a stimulus for sustainable development, investment, and cooperation within the mining industry, with an emphasis on maximizing Nigeria’s mining potential, especially for its critical minerals.
“Nigeria Mining Week has set itself some lofty goals. As an enabler of this sector, not only does it aim to shine a light on how Nigeria builds its mining industry, but it also aims to ensure that we steadily focus on sustainability, fairness, inclusivity and equality for all stakeholders, but mostly for the people of Nigeria – thus unlocking local beneficiation, creating shared value and empowering socio-economic development,” he said.