The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has mandated the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) to anchor the maiden conference of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resource Development (NCMMRD) scheduled to hold in Abuja from 12th to 14th September, 2017.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari who made this known to journalists, in Abuja, on Thursday September 7, 2017 said the conference which theme is “Enhancing Mineral Resource Governance toward economic growth and diversification,” is designed as an annual interactive platform of mining sector stakeholders adding that it aims to assemble stakeholders who will engage in brainstorms that will lead to recommendations which will improve the sector.
He said the NCMMRD Conference aims to put together valuable contributions of all those involved in the mining value chain, in good hope that their views will enable government to fully exploit the potentials of the sector for revenue generation, jobs creation and sustainable mining practices.
Bwari said some of the issues that will be topical for the conference include challenges of federal/regional cooperation relating mineral sector governance, policy recommendations to stem illegal mining and export challenges, the problems of mines field insecurity, the need for effective regulation of the mines and steel sector and the strategies for implementation of Minerals Roadmap for National Development.
The minister said: “The council is advisory in nature but we are determined to ensure that its deliberations and recommendations form part of the ministries policies and programmes in future,” adding that the council will have members from the National and State Houses of Assembly, Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries in charge of all relevant federal and state ministries, agencies and parastatals, the organised private sector, security agencies and tertiary institutions.
Others include mining sector industry players, labour unions, civil society organisations, artisanal and small scale miners, representatives of specialised agencies of the United Nations, development partners, women in mining, and local mining communities.
Discussing the importance of the council, Bwari pointed out that to a large extent, government will rely on the recommendations of the council in reviewing or initiating robust policies that will increase the contribution of the mining sector to economic growth and development.
“After the mining sector roadmap was approved in August last year, we resolved that only by true collaboration, inclusion and broad based participation of all stakeholders can we achieve the laudable plans of the administration for the sector,” he said, adding that the FEC also approved the National Council on Mining and Mineral Development (NCMMD) thereby giving government the means to ensure maximum buy-in and support from stakeholders.
“The council will provide the biggest platform for those interested in mining to brainstorm and provide inputs for policy formulation, validation and other efforts aimed at reforming the sector.”
Bwari advised stakeholders to plan to attend the conference in order to avail themselves the opportunity to air their views, said all opinion will be considered in the interest of developing the sector.