Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite says Nigeria has what it takes to become mining investment destination, stating that the position is strengthened by the occurrence of minerals of the future in the country.
A statement from the ministry, signed by the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media and Publicity, Ayodeji Adeyemi said the minister made the point while addressing investors, at the just-concluded Mining Conference in Riyadh Saudi. He urged the mining industry majors to invest in the Nigerian Mining sector, adding that the policies make the sector one of the most investor-friendly in the world.
He said Nigeria has the mineral of the future that can power electric cars and phones.
According to the Minister, ‘some major mining companies have expressed interest in the Nigerian Mining sector,’ adding that government will auction rights to mine some strategic minerals later in the year.
He said the administration has strengthened mining sector governance and transparency, as well as provided assurance to investors through the upgrade, automation, and decentralization of the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO),’adding that government is already improving the connectivity between investors and the public with important geological information through the establishment of a Nigeria Geo-Data Centre at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA).”
The minister noted that Nigeria has its lessons from over fifty years of resource extraction.
‘As we deepen our efforts to revitalize the mining sector, we are doing so with lessons learnt from a half-century of resource extraction. We recognize, for instance, that it is not enough to seek investments merely for the sake of exploitation and extraction. Rather than writing this new chapter of economic growth, our aim is to develop local industries, generate employment, and focus on resource beneficiation to create wealth along the mineral value chain.’
While speaking to some foreign media, the minister noted that the federal government had invested $50 million to explore gold, lithium and several other metals.
He said: ‘The country has discovered over 44 minerals occurring in commercial quantities across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory,’ saying that they include gold, lithium, copper and cobalt amongst others.’