Dele Alake, the minister of Solid Minerals Development, has hinted on strategic measures proposed by the Tinubu-led administration to tackle the menace of illegal mining, as it seeks to make solid mineral sector the new petroleum for Nigeria.
According to the minister, the menace of illegal mining that has eroded and deprived the country of substantial revenue will be nipped in the bud under the political will and firmness of the administration of President Ahmed Tinubu.
He said: ”the solid minerals sector is now the focal point of generating revenue for the country, it is now the next petroleum of Nigeria.”
A recent KPMG report said Nigeria currently boasts over 44 priced solid minerals in the mining space, with huge deposits scattered over different parts of the country.
It called for the provision of accessible and affordable funding, expediting amendments to mining laws, regulations, and policies, access to reliable geodata, provision of tax incentives and/or rebates, and enhancing security measures to safeguard mining operations.
The minister, in a statement issued by Alaba Balogun, head of the ministry’s public relations department, hinted on the government’s plan to partner security agencies in tackling cases of illegal mining across the country, stating that it will no longer be business as usual barring the identity of whoever is involved in economic crime.
Alake who addressed participants in a capacity building programme on Jewelry making and design, said “it is a known fact that Nigeria with its large population has a huge potential for jewellery and it is imperative to create a local jewellery industry that would substantially meet local demand for jewellery products, increase import substitution, create jobs and boost the export value of Nigeria’s gemstones and jewellery.
“It is my belief that the Jewellery industry when fully harnessed could contribute significantly to national economic growth by creating massive job opportunities.”
Commenting on the program, which was conceived as part of ongoing minerals sector support for economic diversification, Alake stated that Nigerians has no business going abroad to buy jewelry in view of her potential to contribute immensely to jewelry-making global market.