- To collaborate with BoI, NEXIM Bank, others
‘The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, through the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MINDIVER) Project is intensifying efforts to attract more investments to the mines and steel sub sector in line with the economic diversification agenda of the federal government,’ the Coordinator of the Project, Engr Linus Adie has said.
The Coordinator, who made the disclosure on Thursday in Abuja, when Mr Sean Hsu, Group President/Chief Executive Officer of Netcom Africa Limited, an international investment company in exploration and mining paid him a working visit at the ministry.
Adie said within the next three months, MINDIVER will embark on extensive sensitisation through development partnerships with relevant agencies of government notably NEXIM Bank and the Bank of Industry on the need to set up mining desk in their organisations, adding that the strategy will add value to the economic diversification agenda of the federal government.
He said: ‘All the ministry and indeed the MINDIVER Project is working and devising strategies to attract more investors into the mines and steel sector.’
Addressing the Netcom boss, he said, ‘Your coming is timely since you are willing to promote Nigeria’s endowment as an investor. There is no bigger opportunity than now because the government within the last four years has been very serious and determined to change the tide in accordance with its economic diversification agenda.’
While saying that there is on ground a viable roadmap produced by a team of professionals with clear and sustainable strategies to be adhered to, Engr Adie explained that ‘the Roadmap was also presented to the World Bank and the Bank accepted it,’ adding that global bank was already financing some notable projects in the sector.
The bank is investing $150m to support the sector and the federal government is also providing some intervention Fund to further develop the sector, he said, stating that the efforts aim to revive the sector and consequently turn Nigeria into a global mining destination.
While saying that recent efforts to develop the sector indicates that Nigeria is serious and prepared to host a lot more foreign investors who desire to invest in mining, he assured that the investment climate is friendly.
‘For any mining investor, the time to come in is now because Nigeria is ready for mining investments,’ Adie added.
He recalled that the immediate past minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Abubakar Bawa Bwari announced the discovery of platinum in Nigeria, adding that the availability of platinum in Nigeria adds impetus to the country’s robust mineral wealth.
‘l expect that both local and foreign investors would also be interested in platinum, and I say to them, “come in and take advantage of the opportunity’”.
‘In fact, the whole of Nigeria is covered broadly by regional geology with some parts already taken for detailed study, meaning there is change of attitude by the government because the present administration is thinking beyond oil,’ he added.
Netcom boss, Mr Sean Hsu who descried mining as ‘the new generation business’ disclosed the intention of his organisation to explore the sector, stating that ‘key companies have been coming to ask questions about prospects in Nigerian mining industry, a lot of interest have come in that direction.’
He commended the federal government for putting in place a well spelt out and organised roadmap for mining business, adding that it is a ‘pragmatic step’ taken by the Nigerian government to turn the country into a mining destination.