• Saturday, February 24, 2024
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Investment in AI, infrastructure will aid Nigeria’s economic growth – Minister

artificial intelligence (AI)

…as Kwara gov lauds Tinubu’s economic diversification

Uba Maigari Ahmadu, minister of State for Mines and Steels Development, has said that for Nigeria to attract more investors and drive sustainable economic growth, there should be critical infrastructural investment, and leveraging artificial intelligence.

Ahmadu stated this in his keynote address delivered at the 5th annual conference of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development (NCMMRD), held in Ilorin the Kwara State capital, on Wednesday.

The 3-day conference with the theme: “Minerals and metal: Panacea for economic growth and diversification”, started on Monday and ended Wednesday.

He noted that the steel sector was about creating jobs, community empowerment, laying the groundwork for a stronger economy.

The minister added that the sector was facing challenges ranging from aging infrastructure to uncertain global market, saying, “We must not shy away from the challenges laid before us. Our steel sector faces hurdles ranging from aging infrastructure to an uncertain global market, but this challenges are surmountable. They are invitation to innovate, collaborate, and think beyond the ordinary.

“Today, I call on all of you — miners, manufacturers, investors, policymakers, researchers, citizens and businessmen to join hands in a national mission to revitalise our steel industry.

“We must embrace technology, invest in critical infrastructure, stable and transparent regulation, partner with local community and ensure they benefit from resources attraction.
“Let us use this gathering to not just share ideas but to commit to concrete actions and measurable outcomes. Let us leave Ilorin with the roadmap for Nigeria’s steel industry that is the envy of Africa and a powerhouse for our nation’s economic transformation.

“We are at pivotal moment in Nigeria history and to attract investment and drive sustainable growth, we must harness the strength strategically to build a future where prosperity is shared and benefit of our mineral wealth reach every corner of this great nation.”

On his part, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State, submitted that, each of the 16 local government areas of the state was blessed with abundant viable mineral resources and in commercial quantities, inviting investors to tap into the natural endowments.

He informed that the government recently registered five Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) as part of its measures to acquire viable mining sites and make the state a major producer of solid minerals in Nigeria.

“We plan to establish a standard mineral market in the state, where all minerals mined from our State will first be registered here before they are transported to other places,” he said.

Abdulrazaq lauded President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the bold moves to diversify the country’s economy, saying, “the need to diversify the economy and harness potential in the solid mineral and other sectors could not be overemphasised. The excessive reliance on oil has proven to be unhelpful for our country, and I’m glad we appear to have learnt our lessons.

“I appeal to the ministers present and everyone to give us all necessary assistance to actualise our dream of becoming a major solid mineral producing state in the country.”

The governor assured that recommendations and resolutions reached at the end of the meeting would be adopted for the development of the sector.

Earlier, Abdulqowiyu Olododo, the
state commissioner for Solid Mineral Development, explained that the state government was collaborating with security agencies to ensure the safety of investors within the Kwara borders.

He said that “We are wholeheartedly committed to the advancement of solid minerals, thereby harnessing the economic potentials of valuable minerals such as gold, tantalite, and lithium, which are abundant in our state.

A framework is in place to facilitate works in the state without encroaching upon the existing federal mining act.”