Project financing, capacity development prioritized as COMEG, ACCI collaborate for economic diversification

The Registrar/CEO, COMEG, Prof Z. O Opafunso (2nd from right), the President, ACCI, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (middle), and other management staff shortly after the meeting, in Abuja, on Monday.

The Management of the Council of Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG) has kick-started talks with Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) for training of personnel in line with the regulatory mandate of the Council, a move that has been described as a veritable strategy that will address the quest for delivery of professional services in the mining and geosciences sector, while also contributing to the realization of resource diversification.

Under the arrangement, ACCI is also expected to facilitate funding of COMEG-certified mining sector businesses. Under this arrangement, service providers in mining and geosciences sector who seek recognition by ACCI would be encouraged to fulfil their professional obligations, and must key into the Council’s quest for Continuous Professional Development of mining and geosciences consultants. They must therefore be abreast of innovation and development in the mining and geosciences sector.

President of ACCI, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode who noted that sustainable funding of mining business will strengthen professionalism and manpower development in line with regulatory mandate of the Council, said strategy sessions will be convened by COMEG and ACCI to drive areas of mutual interest.

In addition to collaborating in the area of funding and training of personnel for the mining and geosciences sector, COMEG and ACCI also agreed to jointly create investment drive for mining sector projects through a pool of businesses financiers under the auspices of ACCI.

ACCI is a body of business groups established by law with membership across various sectors of the Nigerian economy, Adetokunbo said.

Adetokunbo, a former Minister of the Federal Republic said ‘Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be happy to support mining projects by facilitating investments along the solid mineral value chain,’ adding that the Chamber consists of successful entrepreneurs and business financiers who desire to invest in safe and reputable businesses, driven by qualified professionals.

This, he said, will attract the pool of funds needed to drive indigenous investments in the mining sector. The ACCI President further pledged the commitment of the Chamber to strengthen its existing partnership with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, MMSD, stating that ACCI is host to a gemological centre for the Ministry.

Earlier, the Registrar, Council of Mining Engineers and Geoscientists, Prof Zachaeus Opafunso who led the Management team of COMEG to ACCI Head Office, in Abuja, said the ‘Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG) was established by Act No. 40 of 1990, to regulate and control the training and practice of professionals in the extractive industries,’ adding that the professionals include Geoscientists, Mining Engineers, Petroleum and Gas Engineers, Metallurgical Engineers, Geotechnical Engineers and others in the related professions.’

While saying that the practice of the professionals contribute the bulk of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, the registrar noted that the instrument establishing the Council as a regulatory agency was instituted to drive government’s policy for the regulation and development of the practice of the professions associated with exploration, extraction and refining of the vital mineral resources.

While saying that the role of the Council in enhancing professional practice in the Nigerian extractive industry cannot be overemphasised, he explained that COMEG is instrumental to the elimination of quacks in the industry and must work with progressive interest group. ‘Without a strong and virile COMEG, it would be difficult to monitor and regulate the professions, including the elimination of quacks in the industry,’ he said.

‘You would all agree with me that no sector will experience optimal growth without proper regulation, I ask you to collaborate with us and together we will shape the future of professionals in the extractive industry, and by extension, Nigeria.’

The organizations agreed to reconvene, deliberate set in motion strategies for the actualization of the articulated goals.

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