The preliminary report of the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP) has been described as a document that reinforces the potential of the Nigerian mining sector for jobs and wealth creation, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite has said.
The NIMEP Project is a 14 billion Naira mineral exploration project granted the mineral sector in 2019.
The minister, who received preliminary report of the NIMEP Project Committee, in Abuja, recently, said the importance of mineral exploration and data in the quest for development of the mining sector cannot be overemphasized especially in view of the determination of government to diversify the economy through the mineral sector.
Adegbite explained that availability of reliable information on solid mineral deposits in the country makes the sector more attractive to investors, while also generating foreign exchange and creating jobs.
He said geosciences information will create jobs and wealth along the mineral value chains.
The Minister, who made the point during the presentation of the Preliminary Report on the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP), led by its Chairman, Dr. Addulrazaq Garba, in Abuja, hailed the outcome of the exploration as a major step in the right direction in the country’s quest for resource diversification.
Adegbite commended the NIMEP Committee for job well done, and hailed AGVision Mining Limited and other consultants for delivering the job despite challenges, adding that the project is laudable.
While he explained that the NIMEP project was designed to provide reliable geosciences data needed by local and foreign investors to make investment decision for the sector, Adegbite commended President Muhammadu Buhari whom he said ‘has not only supported the efforts but also shown commitment to diversifying the economy through the Mineral and Mining Sector.’
He lauded the committee on NIMEP for excellently executing the task, stating that the reports contain vital information that lead to further exploration and development of the country’s solid mineral potentials, stating that it will form the basis for developing the geosciences data centre of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade expressed immense satisfaction with the Staff of the Ministry for conceptualizing NIMEP, which she described as a key to the development of the sector and Nigeria at large. She enjoined Nigerians to take advantage of the country’s abundant natural resources and work assiduously towards moving the country to greater heights.
Director General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) and Chairman of the Committee on NIMEP, Dr. Abdulrazaq Garba explained that the NIMEP project faced several challenges such as insecurity, ranging from kidnapping to banditry, community restiveness, and interference by Local Government Areas, adding that the challenges did not affect the quality of outcome.