Covid-19: SMDF Chair wants National Economic Council to develop mining sector-based post-Covid economic strategy

● As AMAPOB, MAN commend Sany for palliatives

The Chairman, Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), Mallam Saidu Uba Malami has encouraged the National Economic Council to develop a mining sector-based economic strategy that will strengthen efforts being made by government to avert post-Covid economic recession in the country, stating that the sector has a very incumbent role to play especially that the price of crude oil has fallen far below expectation.

The Chairman, who made the call in Abuja on Friday while receiving donations of four thousand pieces of nose masks and some cartons of Indomie noodles from the Managing Director of Sany West Africa, commended the foresight of president Buhari while expressing confidence in the ability of the National Economic Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to work with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development under the leadership of Arc Olamilekan Adegbite to evolve fiscal policies needed to drive the realization of Post-Covid national economic boom. Malami explained that ‘formulation of the right fiscal policies and effective implementation will reposition the mining sector for national economic diversification.’

‘I am aware of the very strategic steps already taken by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development and the National Economic Council to implement the right fiscal policies that will support sectoral operators and the country at large,’ he said, adding that an the development of a mining sector based policy will strengthen the effort. He therefore encouraged the National Economic Council to develop a post-Covid home-grown solution that will stimulate the potential of the mining sector for economic regeneration.

The Chairman who commended Sany West Africa Limited for donating palliatives to sector described the organization as a proactive stakeholder in the industry.

‘I applaud Sany Nigeria Limited for intervening at this critical time in the history of the world by supporting the Nigerians through the mining sector,’ he said, adding that Sany should be celebrated in order to encourage other stakeholders to do their bit in their respective capacities. This he said would make things easier for everyone in the sector.

While saying that the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 is still a daunting challenge to the world, he said government has tried to devise ingenious ways to save lives and livelihood, stating that ‘we in the solid mineral sector are also challenged, especially that drop in price of crude oil calls for strategic solutions.’

While saying that the Federal Government has demonstrated effective leadership which is ably supported by the private sector through progressive initiatives, the Chairman noted that select industries which services are essential to livelihood were allowed to operate under strict guidelines and condition during the lockdown.

‘The effect of the lockdown on global economy is better imagined, therefore a pro-active industry must rise up to the quest for novel guidelines that will lead to advancement of the economy, because COVID 19 has forever changed the mode of business.’

There will be need for a healthy, safe and secure practices in mining and construction industry practices, he said, adding that AMAPOB and MAN must take advantage of the break caused by the lockdown to prepare, plan and adapt new strategies for the post Covid regime.

While saying that “it is true that Nigeria cannot continue in this lockdown as it imposes a toward trend on the economy,” he commended president Muhammadu Buhari’s foresight to develop the non-oil initiative especially the solid mineral sector, saying that the president has now been vindicated.

We are hopeful that the development of the sector as championed by the Buhari administration will take its priority of place in the post-Covid economic strategy.

‘The palliatives we are receiving today from Sany West Africa is not only prompt, but also a wake-up call for ingenuity needed for productive engagement of industry stakeholders,’ the Chairman added.
Managing Director, Sany West Africa, Mr. B. Lilei assured of the continuous commitment of his organization to the development of the industry while the Miners Association of Nigeria and the Association of Miners and Processors of Barite (AMAPOB) commended the donation, saying that it will cushion the effects of the pandemic.

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