Experts Seek Growth of Mining Sector

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Peter Uzoho

Global law firm, Hogan Lovells, has hosted a forum at the recently held UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, that discussed best practices and path to sustainable growth of the Nigerian mining and steel sector.

The symposium chaired by Partner/Head of Africa, Hogan Lovells, Andrew Skipper, equally featured the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite.

Participants at the discourse were informed that the federal government had embarked on several economic initiatives to make the mining industry attractive, robust and conducive for investors and operators.

These initiatives included tax incentives on equipment and practical steps to encourage export and downstream processing, which are in line with the government’s agenda of diversifying the nation’s economy.

Addressing stakeholders, Skipper highlighted the significance of gaining insights into the Nigerian mining sector, stressing the need to understand the different laws backing the industry.

He noted that there are huge opportunities in mining in Nigeria, which need to be recognised and harnessed by stakeholders.

“It’s vital that there is a thorough understanding of mining legislation, including applications for and renewals of exploration rights, mining rights and permits in all of the various mining sectors,” Skipper said in a statement.

Also speaking at the summit, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, reiterated efforts of the federal government towards attracting the desired attention to and investment in the nation’s mining sector.

He explained that because Nigeria had primarily been known as an oil and gas producer and explorer, the country’s focus for the past four decades had been on the oil sector.
According to him, this has led to 30 years of under-development and stagnation in Nigeria’s solid minerals industry.

He, however added that the government now wants to diversify from oil and gas and revive Nigeria’s rich mining sector with attractive incentives for investors.

“Our approach to the enactment of a ‘Nigeria Beyond Oil Era’, is holistic. This integrated method involves the development of the necessary infrastructure to support the mines and mining communities”, Adegbite said.