The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite has attributed the progress of the mining sector to the successful implementation of policy-ideas hatched at previous ministerial retreats, stating that the downstream and data management policy of the ministry are products of the 2019 retreats. He also noted that the initiative to digitalize the issuing of mineral licenses (an idea which has now been successfully implemented), is also a product of the 2019 retreat of the ministry.
A statement signed by Ijeoma Opia for the Director, Press in the ministry, said the minister, who made the point in Ibadan, at the opening session of the 2023 Ministerial Retreat organized by the ministry, called on Management and Staff to take advantage of the interactive opportunities afforded by the retreat, stating that they can contribute to nation-building by maximizing their efforts to develop the sector.
Adegbite said patriotism should lead the way in the quest to develop the nation’s mines and steel sector.
The minister applauded management and staff for the successes recorded so far, and called for improved performance that will ensure that the ministry attains the economic diversification bid of the present administration, adding that the retreat will bring about robust deliberations that will further catapult the ministry and sector to greater successes.
According to him, the importance of retreats cannot be overemphasized, noting that part of the resolutions of the 2019 retreat resulted in the creation of the Online Portal of Mining Cadastral Office (MCO) which was launched recently.
He noted that the formulation of the Downstream Policy, which prevents the exportation of Raw Ore out of the Country and well as the Data Management policy are outcomes of retreats, saying: “These Policies derived from the 2019 retreat has helped to increase Revenue generation in the sector.”
Adegbite called on the staff to come up with strategies that will ensure deliberations and resolutions as the retreat cascades down to the rest of the staff. This, he said would help to establish synergy needed to ensure that staff in the ministry are on the same page towards repositioning the sector and achieving set goals.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade said topics to be discussed at the retreat which include Environmental issues, Social and Corporate Governance, Climate Change and Energy Transition will enable the ministry and sector function in tandem with global best practices.
She noted that these topics would help stakeholders develop strategies that will promptly address and rectify whatever challenges faced by the Ministry and bring about synergy in the sector as well as improve the Ministry’s governance framework.
Expressing confidence in the viability of retreat to trigger smooth running of the sector and realization of set national goals, Dr. Akinlade said: “l also believed that it will boost revenue generation and ultimately attract the needed investments that would drive the sector and make it the catalyst for the nation’s industrialization.”
She explained that the agenda of the retreat was carefully crafted to propel participants to design workable Action Plans and quick-wins for the sector, adding that decisions reached will form the basis of the Work Plan of Departments and Agencies, as well as help to adapt to the reforms in the Federal Civil Service.
She therefore, urged participants to take the retreat seriously.
The Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the Ministry, Mr. Ken Onwumbiko said the retreat was basically to review the successes of the targets set in the 2019 retreat and evaluate the milestones achieved so far as well as chart a new course for moving the sector forward.
The participants also believe that the evaluation would facilitate the realization of the mandate of the ministry in the areas of revenue generation, job and wealth creation among others.