• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Experts canvass boosting Nigeria’s mining sector to spur industrial growth

FG and states’ involvement in the mining sector

Experts in the mining industry have reiterated the need to boost the country’s mining sector for economic and industrial growth.

They say mining is a promising sector which can attract investments in various forms beneficial to the country and its citizens.

Speaking during the pre-NES summit webinar hosted by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) held recently themed ‘The New Normal – Opportunities for the Nigerian Mining Industry,’ Olamilekan Adegbite, minister for mines and steel development, said beyond making contributions to the economic growth, the industry can help address the country’s huge infrastructure deficit and also supply minerals used in production of mobile phones, batteries and a wide range of gadgets.

He noted that Nigeria must take a cue from countries that leveraged and developed their mining industry for economic growth

“There is a very strong political will by the government to diversify the economy through mining, so Nigeria is highly prepared to harness the opportunities. The vision is to build a globally competitive minerals and mining ecosystem capable of contributing to wealth creation and providing jobs,” he said.

He said on-going reforms in the sector were geared towards revamping the sector, and the reforms would help improve and serve both the domestic and export market.

“Our roadmap is focused on strengthening our geo-science base, data accessibility for investors, data gathering, data dissemination and archiving,” Adegbite said.

‘Laoye Jaiyeola, chief executive officer (CEO), NESG, said in his remark that Nigeria’s mining industry had the potential to provide jobs and trigger wide-scale infrastructural development. He reiterated the need for Nigeria to take a critical look at current practices in mining and create a sustainable path for growth.

Adeyanju Binuyo, deputy chief of Staff to Osun state governor, noted that Osun State, which also had abundance of natural resources, was making moves to collaborate with the federal government on fully utilising the abundance of natural resources in the state

“Osun State is creating cut-out zones for the processing and integration of small-scale artisanal miners with large scale miners for effective collaboration to aid the sector.

“In addition, the state envisions a process where the federal government deliberates with the state government before issuing mining licenses to ease the issues miners face with the state and the communities they operate in,” he said.

Similarly, Edet Akpan, permanent secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, in his remarks, said that in developing the mining sector, the ministry was making steps to encourage private sector investments and also advance the technology.

“The ministry is involved in a number of developments including increasing private sector investment in the mining sector and a digital archiving collation system that are being championed by the Nigeria Geological survey agency to aid the development of the mining industry,” he explained.

David Turvey, managing director, Kogi Iron Limited, stressed the need for policy stability to attract foreign and local investments in order to enjoy the full benefits of mining in the country and also fill the employment gap.

He added that there had to be efficient roads, rail and ports network for the movement of bulk extractive minerals and overall development of the mining industry.

The pre-summit was held ahead of the upcoming annual 26th Nigerian Economic Summit scheduled to hold from October 26 to 27, 2020 which is themed ‘Building Partnerships for Resilience.’