NSEG: FG seriously accelerating industrial growth for poverty eradication, says Minister


… as Titan Minerals founder, Mr. Fadi Abou Ghazale gets NSEG Fellowship Award

…as Economic Geologists discuss how mining, projects, alleviate poverty  


Director, ASM Department, Mr. Yunusa Mohammed (Left) who represented the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, and the President, Nigerian Society of Economic Geologists, NSEG, at the conference, in Abuja, on Monday.


Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake says the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is ‘seriously accelerating industrial growth’ of the mining sector in order to speedily alleviate poverty, adding that efforts to reposition the sector for economic diversification are yielding desired results.

Alake, who spoke in Abuja, on Monday, at the ongoing 2nd International Conference of the Nigerian Society of Economic Geologists commended the professional society for serving as a veritable platform for discussions on geoscientific development and research in relation to the national economic growth and development.

He said the theme of this year’s conference “Economic Diversification in Nigeria – the Roles of the Minerals and Metals Sector’ is germane and timely especially when viewed in relation to the present administration’s drive for accelerated industrial growth for poverty alleviation, adding that the Federal Government is seriously embarking on measures aimed at diversifying the economic base of this nation through promotion of maximum utilization of the country’s abundant mineral resources.

Discussing key efforts made by government in this regard, the minister explained that the splitting of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development into two Ministries namely: Ministry of Solid Minerals Development and the Ministry of Steel Development is strategic to realize set goals.

‘This measure is aimed at bringing greater focus to each of the sectors. Other major strides in the administration’s drive to reposition the minerals and metal sectors, is the ongoing review of the industry legal and regulatory instruments with intent to enact a more robust and better mining law that is in tandem with present realities,’ he stated.

He said completion of the NIMEP Project phase 1 and the conclusion of plans to commence phase 2, is a testament to the administration’s unwavering efforts to continue to provide the much-needed geoscientific data for the growth of the mining industry in Nigeria.

According to the Minister, the importance of these landmark achievements cannot be overemphasized as they would stimulate global interest in mineral exploration and mining in Nigeria.

He expressed concern that ‘mineral production in Nigeria has been very minimal, contributing to a less than 1% to the country’s GOP despite its huge potentials,’ adding that the present administration is determined to change this narrative, and is willing to collaborate with development partners and think-tanks such as the Nigeria Society of Economic Geologists to promote research in mineral exploration as it relates to mining, mineral resource classification and mineral processing.

He urged participants to take the opportunity presented by the NSEG Conference to exchange technical and commercial information with the view to expanding development in the mining sector, toward creating wealth and employment opportunities for Nigerians.

He commended the Nigerian Society of Economic Geologists for organizing the conference, adding that it is able to promote the development of the minerals and metal sector and facilitate their effective utilization as inputs by industries.

The Minister is optimistic that the conference will generate innovative ideas that will be articulated and shared to synergize the efforts of the government towards bringing accelerated growth and development to the Nigerian mining sector.

The Minister was ably represented by the Director, Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Department in the Ministry, Mr. Yunusa Mohammed.

President of the Society, Dr. Abdulrazaq Garba said the gathering is significant in that it signifies an attempt to engineer a paradigm shift in the country’s mining value chain operations toward deriving maximum benefit from solid minerals and consequently repositioning the economy through alternative sources of revenue generation.

He said, in effect, it will reduce Nigeria’s over-dependence on oil, and therefore reduce the over-dependence on petroleum.

While expressing concern that as a result of this over-dependence, solid minerals now contribute a paltry low to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, he noted that Nigeria, which was sometime the world’s largest exporter of Tin and Columbite, is today not listed as a mining country.

This paradox, he said, contrasts sharply with the country’s vast mineral resources such as iron ore, bitumen, coal, tantalite, barytes, lead and zinc, amongst others, adding that there is need to tap the full potential offered by the vital sector to boost its contribution to the GDP, create wealth, reduce poverty, and provide jobs for the teeming masses of the unemployed youth of our dear country.

‘As part of the ongoing efforts at repositioning and reforming the mineral sector, the government places very high premium on the generation and acquisition of reliable geoscientific data which are necessary in order to attract both local and foreign investors in the mineral sector.

According to the NSEG President, who is also Director-General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), the acquisition of reliable and up-to-date geological data is strategic to the overall development of the minerals and mining sector, stating that ‘no meaningful investment in the sector can take place without data.’

The NSEG President said Nigeria is highly endowed with diverse mineral resources that cut across all States of the federation, adding that the Nigerian Society of Economic Geologists haves a vital role to play in the generation of geoscientific data needed to woo investors to the industry.

The country through the Ministry of Solid Mineral, will witness tremendous growth in the number of interests by mining companies if professionals provide improved quality and

accessible geoscientific data, he added.

The NSEG President further agreed with the minister that to diversify the country’s economy from oil base to non-oil base, geoscientific data is vital, adding that this quest gave impetus to the NSEG annual conference to improve the attractiveness and competitiveness of investment in Nigerian Mining sector within African continent and the world.

Dr. Abdulrazaq stated: ‘Over the years, the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency played a leading role in the execution of exploration projects that has led to several mining endeavors,’ adding that it also provided the basis for the start-up of a number of companies.

He explained that the advantages of such start-ups include employment generation, foreign exchange, poverty reduction, wealth creation, infrastructural development and increase in the availability of raw materials for local industries.

He said the council of the Nigerian Society for Economic Geologists thoughtfully selected “Economic diversification in Nigeria: The role of the minerals and mining sector” as theme of the conference, adding that the Society believes that the change for which it craves must be knowledge-driven.

Therefore, the conference discourse for the next two days will focus on creating a more efficient solid mineral industry in Nigeria, Dr. Garba assured.

At the ceremony, the Nigerian Society of Economic Geologists conferred its highest honor, the Fellowship of the NSEG on the Chief Executive Officer, Titan Minerals, Mr. Fadi Abou Ghazale for his outstanding contributions to the development of the Nigerian Solid Minerals Sector.

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