Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite on Tuesday said the Federal Government has become “technologically savvy” in the bid to acquaint prospective investors with reliable mineral information on Nigeria and the attendant investment opportunities of the country’s mining industry, just as the Chairman of the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba disclosed that the National Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) is gathering geosciences information on what he described as “the seven strategic minerals, namely, Coal, Bitumen, Limestone, Iron Ore, Barites, Gold and Lead/Zinc Ore,” adding that they are “low-hanging fruits in the country’s mining roadmap.”
Dr. Garba, who doubles as Director-General, Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) gave an elaborate rundown of efforts being made by his agency, and encouraged Optiva Resources Ltd to invest in the mining sector, stating that it is a very encouraging especially as the Federal Government has provided funds for massive exploration of the mineral potentials of the country.
The government officials who spoke during a visit of the management team of Optiva Mining Limited agreed that the administration has addressed challenges of the sector and intensified efforts to attract FDI as part of strategies to diversify the Nigerian economy.
The minister was delighted that the visit was coming few months after the “Mines and Money” Conference held in London.
He said government has embraced technologically in order to making it easy for prospective investors to access policy and geosciences information on Nigeria, adding that mineral licenses can now be applied for online, adding that certificates are also issued online. The minister enjoined the delegation to visit other Agencies of the Ministry for full grasp of the mining potentials in the country.
In his remarks, Francis Nwokedi, Managing Director, NPL Advisors (advisors to Optiva Mining Limited), explained that although Optiva Resources has invested in a number of projects across Africa, this is the first time the company is working to invest in Nigeria.
Reiterating the huge investment opportunities in the mining and minerals sector, Nwokedi disclosed that the purpose of the visit was to look identify and explore investment opportunities.
Director, Investment Promotion and Mineral Trade in the ministry, Yunusa Mohammed, said the visit reflects the success of government’s effort to attract international investors to the sector, stating that the investors have come to explore the mining assets of Nigeria.
The delegation is expected to visit the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) and the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF).