Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite has said that the downstream mineral policy will trigger the nation’s economic diversification in a sustainable manner.
Adegbite, disclosed this yesterday at a media session on the forthcoming Nigerian Solid Minerals Downstream Workshop, Abuja.
The minister noted that the blueprint among other things, will trigger the revamping of the Ajaokuta Steel Company and the effective harnessing of the abundant minerals endowment spread across the country.
The Nigerian solid minerals downstream workshop in partnership with Lagos business school will hold on the 2nd of Dec. 2019, in Abuja.
Adegbite stated that President Muhammadu Buhari, had mandated the ministry to solve the long intractable problems bedeviling the Nigerian solid minerals sector and use the sector to diversify the country’s economy.
He said that with the articulation of these problems over the past 90 days, the administration was on the path of making a renaissance in harnessing the potentials that abound in the sector for the good people of Nigeria.
He said: “One of the great strides taken by this ministry is the current process of developing Nigerian Downstream Mineral Policy a mineral value chain initiative, this is first of its kind ever done in Nigeria.”
He revealed that as part of the process leading to the revamping of the entire solid minerals sector, the ministry would sensitize key stakeholders especially large investors of the noble and novel initiative for the development of solid mineral downstream value chains leading to massive job generation, wealth generation and industrialisation.
According to him, there is a great paradigm shift in the ways the sector has hitherto been administered.
“We shall diligently, patriotlcally and stemly implement the laws to ensure that Mr. President mandates are realised within the next three years. We shall stem the exports of jobs and wealth by unwittingly exporting over 35m tonnes of unprocessed mineral products annually.
“We shall open up this sector to genuine indigenous and foreign investors to actively participate in the downstream licensing of mineral plants.”
Adegbite, represented by his Adviser on Special Duties, Sunny Ekozin, said, “Our policy strategy is to foster sustainable mineral development aimed at facilitating and promoting value added mineral products for both Iocal and international market and addressing access to finance and mineral sector investment climate.
“We do know that value addition, has spiral and multiply effects and in the essence of it, you can never industrialise as a nation without harnessing the downstream part of the solid minerals and the value addition of these are very critical to any nation industrialisation and this is the determination of this administration upon this ministry.”
The minister said, the problem of lack of functionality of Ajaokuta Steel company was man made.
“And for the past three months, we have been digging and articulating the problems and we are also happy to let the nation know that Mr. President has given us his full political backing and very emphatic about it to ensure that Ajaokuta work and by the grace of God Ajaokuta Steel company will work”, he added.