Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bawa Bwari, has said Nigeria is open for business for genuine Chinese investors in the mining sector.
The minister said this in his address titled: “Nigeria’s Solid Minerals Sector: A New Haven for investors,” at the recent third Sino-Nigeria Mining roadshow, during the 2018 China Congress and Expo in Tianjin, China.
Bwari admitted that, though the Nigerian mining industry faces external and internal challenges, the present administration has to a large extent addressed the issues, saying the coast was clear for serious investors to venture into the mining space.
He revealed that, Nigeria is endowed with abundant mineral resources that can be broadly categorised into industrial minerals, energy minerals, metallic ore minerals, construction minerals and precious stones and these minerals are still largely underdeveloped despite its glorious past and abundance of mineral resources for development.
According to him, “The third edition of the Nigeria-China investment roadshow is very important in our need to consolidate on the gains of our earlier efforts to strengthen the economic relations between the two countries.
“Nigeria is the biggest trade partner of Africa and our gathering here today is to further explore various investment opportunities available to Chinese investors in Nigeria.”
He added: “I have come with the ministry officials who will give further details of the available opportunities and how to participate in the mineral sector in Nigeria.”
Adding that, “Viable brownfield projects from the private sector have also been packaged for networking with investors.”
The minister declared that the federal government had provided enough incentives for investors in the minerals and metal sector, including favourable tax and royalties’ regime, exemption from customs and import duties on mining equipment, three years’ tax holidays and 100 per cent ownership of company.
“Government has a renewed commitment to the improvement of security across mines sites, logistic related security and curbing and other forms of illegal practices, embarked on an ambitious exploration programme to provide necessary geosciences data to unveil the resource potential of the country.”
Bwari, said Nigeria was looking forward to investments in the upstream and downstream sector, adding that Chinese investors were welcomed to participate in the development of the nation’s mining sector.
In his paper presentation, the Special Adviser to the Minister, Mr. Davies Olapade, said there are lots of potential in Nigeria that would attract investors.
Also, the Director, Concession of the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), Engr. Simon Nkom, in his paper said Nigeria operates transparent mineral title administration of priority using the principle of first come, first served or use it or lose it.
He itemised the different mineral titles issued by MCO and advised on how to acquire mineral titles on the website of the agency.
A Nigerian-based miner and the Chairman of Kingrock Mining Investment, Mr. Sun Kaibo, spoke on the advantages and challenges of investing in the Nigerian mining sector.
He said there are lots of opportunities in the mining sector that are untapped and advised potential Chinese investors to be careful and always approach the relevant government authorities on their business transactions.