Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
In an attempt to revitalise the Nigerian minerals and mining sector, thereby exploring natural deposits scattered across the nation, the ministerial committee set up a month ago to chart this course has submitted its final findings to the sector Minister.
The Roadmap committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. Ibrahim Garba and fourteen other eminent Nigerians was inaugurated on March 1 to formulate a course that will stimulate the rapid growth of the sector.
Receiving the deliberations, conclusions and recommendations of the committee recently in Abuja, Minister, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said, “This event marks a significant milestone in the development of the mining and minerals and metals sector, with the submission of the mining and metals roadmap by the committee which we set up about four weeks ago.”
According to him, “I am impressed with the quick turnaround by the committee in concluding this assignment. You will recall that the roadmap committee was inaugurated a month ago to formulate a course that will stimulate the rapid growth of the sector.
“The mining industry is a key area of focus of the current administration, and it excites me that we are already charting the path for sustainable growth in the sector, with the involvement of representations from the spectrum of stakeholders within the sector.
Speaking further, Fayemi said, “We have tried at the time of setting up this committee to ensure all stakeholders are appropriately represented. I am aware that the committee has consulted far and wide. This is quite encouraging. It is obvious that we are ready as a nation to embark on this journey of sustainable development for the Nigerian mining and metals sector.”
He hinted that the roadmap shall be reviewed, subjected to other stakeholders review in the coming days, “so that we can ensure an air tight document that can withstand the test of time. The roadmap committee shall continue to see us through this process and we will continue to work with them to ensure the buy-in of all relevant stakeholders are captured.
“At the end, we want to ensure this is a national document that is supported across board, and outlives any administration. The journey for sustainability for the sector has to be a continuous one,” he said.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the event, Chairman, Roadmap Committee, Prof. Garba disclosed that the roadmap became important “due to the time we are in.”
According to him, “when other roadmaps were made, Nigeria was still flowing in oil money. So, whatever this sector was going to contribute as at the time may not be too significant. But, today, we wake up to the reality that whatever this sector will contribute will be very important.
He said: “Governors must cooperate with the federal government to avoid unnecessary lacuna that will scare away foreign investors. They must not be overbearing on the use of their lands.”