The Federal Government has commenced the development of seven strategic minerals in line with the presidential mandate given to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), a commitment that has led to the readiness of the federal government to launch made-in-Nigeria barites, soon.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite who made the disclosure during the visit of a delegation from the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), led by the Executive Secretary, Ogbonnaya Orji, to the Ministry, on Thursday.
The minister explained that the development of seven strategic minerals otherwise known as ‘minerals of the future,’ would further lead to the development of the value chain of the mineral resources in the country, a move that will pave way for the actualization of the presidential mandate to prioritize and develop strategic minerals in line with the Roadmap for Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Sector.
While he disclosed that the ministry has succeeded in achieving the development of barite from extraction, milling and bagging stages to support local industries, as well as for export the commodity, he announced that barite that would soon be bagged in Nigeria would be tagged, ‘Proudly Nigeria.’
Adegbite, while acknowledging the impressive contribution of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) in ensuring transparency and accountability in the sector, stated that the ministry is updating and upgrading its ICT infrastructure in order to enable it connect to the ten agencies in the ministry.
In his remarks, Minster of State, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, appreciated NEITI for the visit, noting that the collaboration between the Ministry and NEITI is of great importance as it would ensure mining accruals are transparently monitored.
The Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Ogbonnaya Orji said the purpose of the visit was to deepen the relationship with the ministry and share data that would enable the organisation report accurately and transparently the activities in the sector, saying that ‘the ministry has data that NEITI can rely on.’
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. (Mrs) Oluwatoyin Akinlade, who was represented by the Director Artisanal and Small Scale Mining, Mr. Patrick Ojeka, disclosed that the days of NEITI auditing the Ministry without its knowledge were over as MMSD is ready and willing to share information of its activities and data with the organisation.