The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch Olamilekan Adegbite has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his “unrelenting drive to attract foreign investment into the mining sector,” adding that the president was at the fore front of diversifying the economy from oil.
According to the minister, no other president has shown so much resolve to diversify the economy and to attract foreign investment into other sectors of the economy.
The minister, who gave the commendation during an interactive session with Russian investors in Sochi, Russia, at a pre-summit meeting preceding the three-day Russia-Africa Summit said Nigeria has several stocks of minerals that could kick-start a boom in the mining industry.
He assured the investors that the nation was a prime destination for mining activity in the continent. ‘’The President of Nigeria has demonstrated strong resolve to diversify the economy. My ministry’s policy thrust is to carry out Mr. President’s mandate, creating value chain in the mining sector that would ultimately benefit the citizens. We want to assure our prospective investors that all our reforms shall be steeped in global best practices,’’ he said.
This is coming after the successful mining week held in Abuja which was hosted by the ministry of Mines and Steel Development, an event that attracted foreign investors from all over the world. While addressing investors during the mining week, Adegbite assured industry stakeholders and investors that he would continue the policy thrust of his predecessor, in order to bring about stability and growth in the sector.
The minister said: “The Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Industry provides us a broad pathway for the transformation of the industry. The ministry does not intend to deviate from the laid down implementation trajectory except if it becomes exceedingly imperative to take certain actions that could fast track the reforms.”
He added, ‘The mining sector has been identified in the Economic Recovery Growth Plan ERGP as a promising sector that could sufficiently contribute to the diversification of the revenue base, create jobs and broaden the range of opportunities in the Nigerian Economy. To this end, the ministry has been working hard to increase the revenue generated from the sector and its contribution to the national GDP.”
“The sector is also being primed to be a huge job creator, broadening the spectrum of economic opportunities available to Nigerians through the pursuit of strategic policies,” he added.
Adegbite further said that the ministry had begun the process of retrieving Nigeria’s colonial geological data from United Kingdom by engaging the British Geological Survey (BGS), to build a national electronic geo-data archiving management system to be called the Nigerian Geo-data Centre at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA).
“This would provide easy access to geo-science data for prospective investors on potential areas to target for exploration and mining within and outside Nigeria. The BGS will also integrate historical geo-data of Nigeria in NGSA and the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NSRMEA) into the system,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, Engr Obadiah Nkom Director- General of Mining Cadastre Office, noted that the mining sector under the stewardship of Adegbite was poised to be an investment destination in African. “The mining sector is now ready to be the key driver of the diversification agenda of Mr. president. With what the minister is doing and saying, foreign investors are quite excited about the mining sector,” he said.