The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite on Monday said the third National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development will be hosted by the Dr Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti State, adding that the meeting will lead the way of some major policy decisions needed to re-position the mines and steel sector for speedy growth in the interest of sustainable national economic development.
Adegbite, who made this known while addressing journalists ahead of the Council meeting scheduled for November 6 to 8, 2019 said “the incumbent governor of Ekiti State, who is the immediate past minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi has very important roles to play in the quest for full participation of State Governments in the development of the mines and steel sector,” adding that Fayemi’s position as Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum further makes him strategic to the realization of set goals.
The Minister therefore explained that it is not a coincidence that Dr. Fayemi was hosting the conference.
Further discussing the benefits, the Minister said: “It is very appropriate and would be very rewarding because policy thrusts that we are trying to achieve regarding mining development in states across the country will be more easily achieved when Fayemi is involved.”
While he explained that “We are determined to work with state governments, and there is no doubt that Dr John Fayemi is very significant in the pursuit and realization of this quest, he said, adding that as leader of the Governors Forum in the country, Fayemi will be a viable linkage between the federal government and state governments as it relates development of mining activities in states of the federation.
The minister explained that the third Mining Council, which theme is, “Nigeria Minerals and Metals Sector: Spectrum for Investment Opportunities for Economic Growth and Development,” is designed to deepen the sector by creating visibility for investment opportunities that abound in it.
While saying that government cannot be a player, he explained that the role of government is to appropriately regulate the sector as well as create enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Discussing recent agreement brokered between Nigeria and Russia in respect of the resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Adegbite expressed concern that the strategic importance of the National Iron Ore Mining Company, NIOMCO to Ajaokuta Steel Company, ASCO was not taken into full cognizance in the past, he assured that the administration has already corrected the oversight, adding that a meeting is currently in progress in Russia to factor NIOMCO into the progress projected for ASCO.
Adegbite called on local investors to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the 3rd National Council, saying that the participation of indigenous investors will give confidence to prospective foreign investors.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah said the administration will continue to address challenges of the sector in an all-inclusive manner that will ensure sustainability of achievements. While commending the Honorable Minister of Mines and Steel Development for strategic efforts being made to move the mining sector forward.
He tasked the media on balanced reports, saying that the media has crucial roles to play in the development of the sector.