As part of the plans of the federal government to revitalise the mining sector, the Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite, has stated the plans of the ministry to strengthen the geo-science base, data accessibility for investors, data gathering, data dissemination and archiving.
Delivering the keynote address, at the NES26 Pre-summit Event with the theme: ‘The ‘New Normal’-Opportunities for the Nigerian Mining Industry, Adegbite said that many countries have leveraged and developed their mining industry, therefore that Nigeria should take advantage of the opportunities presented by the sector.
He also stated that the mining industry can supply minerals used in production of mobile phones, batteries and a wide range of gadgets, thereby address the country’s huge infrastructure deficit.
“We can’t afford to overlook the opportunities in the mining industry. On-going reforms in the sector are geared towards revamping the sector and the reforms will help improve and serve both the domestic and export market. Our roadmap is focused on strengthening our geo-science base, data accessibility for investors, data gathering, data dissemination and archiving” Adegbite said.
On his part, the Registrar, Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG), Prof. Zacheus Opafunso, called for synergy between academia, regulatory agencies and industries, noting that there are a lot of patents produced through researches from universities that are not utilized.
He revealed that the Nigerian curriculum and laboratories are outdated and that the gap created by this can be filled through the provision of intervention fund to the extractive industry sector, provision of funds and loans for equipment hiring and creating a mineral reporting standard.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, NESG, Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola affirmed that the lockdown instituted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected demand and supply in the industry which still remains pivotal to economic development across the world.
He also stated that the industry has the potential to provide jobs and trigger widescale infrastructural development.
Jaiyeola affirmed the need for Nigeria to take a critical look at current practices in the mining and create a sustainable path for growth.
The Deputy Chief of Staff to Osun State Governor, Mr Adeyanju Binuyo explained that the state continues to find ways to encourage the federal government to fully integrate the States in the process of legislation.
He remarked that the state is creating cut out zones for processing and integration of the small-scale artisanal miners with large scale miners for effective collaboration to aid the sector.
Binuyo added that the state envisions a process where the federal government deliberates with the state government before issuing mining licenses to ease the issues miners face with the state and the communities they operate in.