• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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No issuance of mining licence without plans for value addition — FG

FG to support miners prioritising local content

Dele Alake, Nigeria’s minister of solid minerals development has stated the Federal Government’s resolve not to issue a mining licence to any prospective investor without requisite plans for local value addition.

Alake, who played host to members of the House of Representatives committee on solid minerals on an oversight visit to the ministry, said the decision would boost job creation in the sector.

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

Read also: Alake to mining investors: No value addition plan, no license

“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 were nominated by state governments.

Highlighting the renewed interest of the international community in Nigeria’s mineral resources, Alake said the seven-point agenda of the ministry has put the 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 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 seven-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 said the Federal Government has finalised 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 the infusion of technology and specialised training.

According to him, 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.

Read also: The proliferation of illegal mining on OAU Campus must be stopped

“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.

Gaza Gbefwi, chairman of the House committee on solid minerals, said in fulfilling its constitutional responsibility of oversight, the committee visited the ministry to ensure that the executive was doing the right thing.