‘Reliable Geoscience Data, Critical to Mining Sector’

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Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu has said it is practically impossible to promote and achieve success in the sector without a functional, efficient and well-equipped geological survey data.

To this end, he noted that the mandate of the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) was critical to the success of the Nigeria mining sector.

Mu’azu stated this during his working visit to the NGSA in Abuja.
According to him, “We have realised that without reliable geosciences data, it is difficult to attract the investors that we are looking for and it is in that light that for the first time, the government is investing so much money in exploration, that is to underscore critical role of the NGSA.”

The Permanent Secretary in a statement by the ministry, acknowledged that the NGSA was the first organised national institution in the country which could have performed better compare with other Geological Surveys in Africa.
“However, things are better now than they were years ago with increased focus and increased funding by the government.

“This is not to say that the funding is enough, that the agency is where it is supposed to be but as you know there are a lot of efforts on the part of government, the ministry is committed to whatever is possible in assisting the NGSA to achieve its mandate,” he said.
Mu’azu commended efforts and the success recorded so far by the agency while challenging the management and staff to use the opportunity of increased focus and investments to take the agency to greater heights.

“I encouraged the NGSA to collaborate more with other geological survey agencies with the view to addressing some of its challenges.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director General, NGSA, Mr. Alex Nwegbu, stated that, “most of the discoveries Nigeria is enjoying today were through the activities of Nigeria geological survey agency as far back as 1919 following the disbandment of the Mineral Survey of Northern and Southern Nigeria in 1909 and 1913 respectively.”

He said: “The Act of National Assembly that formally established the Agency was in 2006 with a vision to evolve as open, transparent and flexible organisation that would provide geosciences information and knowledge for wealth creation and national development.”

The DG also disclosed that, “the agency has the statutory role of providing relevant and up-to-date geosciences information necessary for economic development of Nigeria.”

This, he said was accomplished through a systematic process of gathering, collating, assessment and dissemination of all information related to rocks, minerals and groundwater resources of the country.

While noting that the finances of the agency has been abysmal, however, canvassed for increased funding to enable the agency perform optimally and achieve its mandate.