The Federal government has reiterated its commitment to diversify the nation’s economy from dependence on oil and gas through Mining and Agriculture sectors as viable options that must be carried out in a secured environment.
President Muhammadu Buhari who was, represented by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, gave the assurance at the Opening Ceremony of the 56th Annual International Conference and Exhibitions of the Nigeria Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) on Tuesday 16th, March, 2021 at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The Head of Press and Media Relations at the MCO who was at the ceremony, Folasade Fatoke confirmed the development to our correspondent in Abuja. She said “President Buhari stated that the theme of the event, ‘Responsible Exploration and Exploitation of Mineral Resources in a Secured Environment,’ is apt and timely with the Administration’s vision and policy focus for the development and growth of the minerals sector.
In his welcome address at the conference, the 30th President of NMGS, Engr. Obadiah Simon Nkom, who is also the Director-General of the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), emphasised the Society’s commitment to continuous collaboration with government in order to deepen and sustain efforts to address challenges of the sector.
Engr. Nkom explained that members of the NMGS are currently involved in the National Integration Mining Project (NIMEP), being supervised by the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) among other programmes. He further stated that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development is establishing Artisanal Mining Clusters in Bauchi, Kogi, Ebonyi and Cross River States to provide opportunity for the off-taking of mined minerals in a structured manner.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the host of the occasion, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency Engr. Oluseyi Makinde, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipreye Sylvia. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha was represented by Prof. Adesola Adepoju, the Director-General of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria. Honourary Fellowship was conferred on them, including the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite.
In his keynote address, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari who is a corporate member, was elevated to Fellow of the Society. Other dignitaries in attendance include the Deputy Chairman, Senate and Deputy Chairman House Committees on Solid Minerals, the Permanent Secretary, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Babatunde Ekunola, a Fellow of the Society, Dr. Edmund Daukoru, former Minister and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Director DPR, Director Generals and other top government functionaries.