Folalumi Alaran in Abuja
Cutting red tapes which slow business transactions and improving the security of mining operations were among fresh commitments unfolded by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake at the Mines & Money Conference which opened in London, yesterday.
Addressing global stakeholders in the mining industry, Alake, in the 15-minute speech pitched for more investment in Nigeria listing unique advantages such as lower production cost due to surface mining and billions of dollar untapped minerals.
He quoted recent reports by professional services firm, KPMG which reported that mining sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP rose from 0.3 per cent to 0.85 per cent last year, indicating 0.63 per cent year-on-year growth.
His words: “The country’s geological bounty encompasses over 44 distinct mineral types, found in exploitable quantities across more than 500 locations. “Recently, recognising the evolving global landscape and in response to emerging trends, Lithium has been included as a crucial strategic mineral of global consequence.”
Alake, said the administration of President Bola Tinubu had embarked on reforms to boost investment by streamlining procedures and reducing hurdles to attract foreign investors.
Showcasing recent progress in creating conditions for solid minerals development, Alake highlighted fresh data revealed by the Airborne Geophysical Survey, memorandum of understanding with German firm, Geoscan, to gather more data on solid minerals across the country and access to finance through a new funding facility launched by the Africa Finance Corporation and the Solid Minerals Development Fund.
The minister reminded the global mining community of the federal government‘s policies on how mining operations must benefit the communities and lead to processing instead of wholesale export of raw minerals.
“Nigeria is currently emphasising Solid Minerals Beneficiation and Value-Addition as a panacea for quick and sustainable growth of the mining industry.
“By adding value to our raw materials, we not only create higher value products, but also generate employment opportunities for our teeming youth and increase the sector’s overall profitability and contribution to the nation’s GDP,” he added.
Alake, urged investors to support socio-economic development of the communities where they mine to make mining mutually beneficial.