FG will collaborate, deepen reforms for private sector growth, says Minister   

Arc Olamilekan Adegbite

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite says the Federal Government will address myriads of sectors challenges by collaborating with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the industry to deepen reforms while fostering conducive ecosystem for private sector participation and growth.

The minster, who made the disclosure during at the 4th Nigeria Mining Week, in Abuja said the existing documented stock of mineral resources can kick start a boom in the mining industry, but lamented that the country still attracts low private sector exploration funding.

While saying that mining has a significant role to play in the diversification of the economy, he noted that “the sector is still classified as non-performing despite the host of mineral resources embedded within the states of the country.”

While saying that the situation is unacceptable, he said government will address it by partnering with relevant stakeholders in the industry to deepen the reforms and foster conducive ecosystem for private sector participation and growth, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari 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,” he said, while assuring prospective investors that reforms will be based on global best practices.

He said the Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Industry provides a broad pathway for the transformation of the industry, adding that 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.

Discussing reforms to stem revenue losses, the minister said: “Under the proposed Mineral Export Guidelines, there would be no room for royalty payment evasion,” adding that all mineral exports shall be inspected by Government appointed independent pre-shipment inspection agents, who are empowered by law to render quantity and quality control services and monitor pricing. This control mechanism, he said, is in consonance with the pre-shipment inspection of Exports Act.

He said in 2018, government inaugurated a project delivery team to design and implement a strategy for reinvigoration of the coal industry in Nigeria, adding that it focused on addressing key investment constraints and fostering private sector investments along the coal resource value chain, specifically into coal to power projects, coal to gas projects, and as a production input for various industries such as steel, cement production, alumina production, chemical production, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, paper manufacturing, fuels among others.

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