The Federal Government of Nigeria has put in place the necessary laws and policies to guarantee security of local and foreign investments in the solid minerals sector as well as ensure that investors get best returns on their investments. The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite has said, adding that investors would do well to take advantage of the improvements scored by the government.
The minister, who gave the charge while addressing investors and mineral sector stakeholders at the 2022 at the Nigerian Day, PDAC 2022 International Conference, Canada, said ‘Nigeria is endowed with over 44 different mineral types occurring in commercial quantities in over 500 locations across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,’ adding that the mineral endowments cut across various mineral spectrums.
He said: ‘The mineral deposits are broadly categorized according to their uses, into five groups, namely, Industrial minerals (such as Baryte, kaolin, gypsum, feldspar, limestone), Energy minerals (such as coal, bitumen, lignite, uranium), Metallic ore minerals (such as gold, cassiterite, columbite, iron ore, lead-zinc, copper), Construction minerals (such as granite, laterite, sand), and Precious stones (such as sapphire, tourmaline, emerald, topaz, amethyst, garnet, etc.).
While noting that it clearly demonstrates the wide mineral spectrum Nigeria is endowed with, Adegbite explained that it offers limitless opportunities along the value chain, for job creation, revenue growth, and economic development, adding that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development embarked on various reforms in order to give impetus to government’s vision of making natural resources work for the country through shared mining prosperity.
He explained that the roadmap, which was formulated in 2016, clearly prescribes policy direction for the development of the mining sector, adding that government has ensured adherence to the roadmap in order to unlock the potential in the sector.
Addressing guests, Adegbite said: ‘Our mandate is to guide and solicit on your behalf, the creation of conducive investment climate that will grow the Mining Sector through the delicate process of value addition to achieve national objectives of employment generation, skills acquisition and economic emancipation.
‘Our discussions at this summit should be addressing the direction of thought as a nation and the imperatives of a long term plan for the mineral and metals industry in Nigeria.
‘It may please you to know that every policy initiated by us has been steeped in global best practices. Transparency has been our watch word and cornerstone upon which the mining industry has been administered, as we continue to foster a culture of openness which will, in turn, engender trust between all stakeholders in the industry.
He recalled that towards the ending of Year 2021, the Ministry launched the Made in Nigeria Barite in Port Harcourt, as part of modest efforts towards the development of industrial minerals.
He explained that the initiative is expected to spur the promotion and growth of local content, boosting the economy with a corresponding increase in revenue.
‘The initiative would not only put Nigeria on the radar of the global mining communities, but would also save the country about $300 million in annual importation costs, thereby creating employment opportunities for the teeming population.
‘The Ministry will also commission an open marketplace portal that will connect all stakeholders along the barite value chain to a hub that allows for easy coordination, stocking, effective costing, and seamless sale of barite, as we adhere to the ease of doing business initiative.
‘We have commenced one pilot project per geopolitical zone in order to enhance local content along the mineral value chain. This is in line with our mandate to fast-track mineral processing in the country using a cluster approach.
The Minister said each cluster is being equipped with modern equipment and technologies to support a network of miners, processors, skills development providers and logistics service providers among others.’