ABUJA – AS eighth edition of Nigerian Mining Week officially kicks off, Monday, President Bola Tinubu, assured investors in the mining sector of support to grow and develop the sector.
Tinubu gave the assurance in his address while declaring open the eighth Nigerian Mining Week with the theme ‘Capitalizing on Nigeria’s Critical Mineral Resources for it’s Economic Growth’ in Abuja, which attracted many investors, companies and exhibitors from different parts of the world.
The President was represented by the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator George Akume.
He said: The Nigerian Mining Week is just more than conference and exhibition, it is a network designed for the global mining community, particularly, to showcase the potentials of the Nigerian mining industry, opportunity of the influence of the Nigerian mining industry.
“This year’s theme ‘Capitalizing on Nigeria’s Critical Mineral Resources for it’s Economic Growth’ has been carefully chosen to amplify to the world the giant strides we are trying to accomplish in the mining sector while affirming the commitment if the Federal Government of Nigeria to supporting the investors in the mining sector in Nigeria to grow and develop the great potentials of the industry.
“The mining sector in Nigeria has suffered long neglect but the gains of the last 17 years initiated with very audacious reforms by the Federal Government has repositioned the sector to a trajectory of successes of huge dimensions.”
He added that with the unbundling of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development into Ministry of Solid Minerals Development and Ministry of Steel Development has made his government to hit the ground running, which displays the resolve of his government to use the two Ministries to actualize the long awaited and expected industrialization and increased revenue generation.
However, the President said the era of exporting raw solid minerals will be ended as his government has put in place policies that would ensure finished products are exported, and through the policies jobs will be created for young people.
Meanwhile, the President maintained that his government would use every mineral to industrialize Nigeria, which he acknowledged that with recent solid minerals discoveries, Nigeria has been named as a country with huge and sort after mineral resources called lithium, which are of high grades and are found in many States including Nasarawa State.
He further stated that, “This administration has been intentional in opening the solid minerals and steel sectors to investors. I am very glad to be part of this epoch making event to galvanize the various value chains in the sector to contribute to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, I therefore assure you of government’s commitment to keeping the promise of providing the enabling environment while delivering to the citizens and friends of Nigeria the dividends of good governance at all levels, and I encourage you to get to meaningful discussions amongst yourselves and develop business linkages that optimize great outcomes which will demonstrate the shared prosperity of natural resources God has endowed Nigeria with to the benefit of mankind.”
Also, in a remark, the Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu, maintained that both the solid and steel sectors will be the game changers of Nigeria’s economy, therefore, called on Nigerians to support the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.
“It is on this heel that we have set out motions to diversify Nigeria’s economy and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by transforming the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCOL) complex into a Free Trade Zone, and designation of 24,000-hectare land of Ajaokuta as an Industrial Park.
“This strategic initiative aims to revitalize the steel industry, create jobs, and stimulate economic growth in the region thus creating an industrial park in the ancient city of Ajaokuta.
“This is in addition to the development of a three-year plan for Ajaokuta, and a broader five-year plan to expand steel production to other parts of the country.
“This comprehensive approach aims to harness Nigeria’s vast iron ore resources and leverage them for industrial growth.
“As we embark on this monumental task, we carry the hopes and aspirations of a nation eager to harness the immense potential of its steel sector on our shoulders. The journey may be challenging, but it is a journey toward a brighter, more industrially empowered Nigeria.
“As we gather here today, let us remember that the possibilities are vast and the opportunities are boundless.
“We must collectively work towards creating an enabling environment for mining operations, ensuring that the industry is adequately regulated, and encouraging responsible practices that respect our environment and our communities”, Audu said.
The President, Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, ‘Dele Ayanleke, pointed out that there are a lot of interests from State Governments of recent in the solid minerals sector, and there is need to make the issues clear.
“This is coming with some constitutional and legal challenges, but we believe that the articulate management of those challenges will provide a workable template for the streamlining of all legal and regulatory frameworks that will accelerate the growth of the sector in line with the 7-Point Agenda, recently unfolded by the Honorable Minister of Solid Minerals Development.
“It is also of importance to mention the coincidence of the global energy transition that is widely gaining momentum and the fact that Nigeria is richly endowed with the minerals that are highly needed for this global agenda.
“In view of the foregoing, therefore, the Miners Association of Nigeria, together with our partners, envisaged robust conversations that will birth pragmatic actions towards the accelerated growth of the sector to provide a veritable pivot for the diversification and broadening of the national economic space”, Ayanleke said.