‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
DAILY COURIER – As the clock winds down to the 6th edition of the annual Nigeria Mining Week 2022, the minister of mines and steel development and other stakeholders have promised to spotlight the achievements of the Buhari led administration in the mining sector.
During the pre-event press conference on Thursday, October 27, the honourable minister, Arc Olamikan Adegbite noted that the success and achievements in the mining sector under the current administration is laying a solid foundation for the future of mining in Nigeria.
Among the giant strides he reeled out include regional landmark projects to explore minerals using beneficiation in other to maximize the trickle down opportunities such as employment, improved internally generated revenue and overall economic growth across the various regions.
The strategy is for government to utilize its minerals locally without exporting the value and wealth outside Nigeria.
“People say put your money where your mouth is, we are saying this is good but the government has this by putting money on the ground and I think I have said this. Government is executing six regional projects on its downstream policy. We are saying that our minerals should not be taken outside the country.
“In Kogi state, the regional project for North Central We have a gold smelter that processes our gold. For kano, North West, we have a gold sup, what we are doing is essentially is to turn our raw gold mined and smelted into objects of beauty, ornament and jewellery. We are also training people that will do this so you can see how interwoven they are. We have graduated three sets of people who have learned jewelry making and they will populate this sector.
“In Ibadan, we have a gem stones market, people come to Ibadan. There was a former market at Ojo which we are building on, foreigners come to take our stones without any value added to the society and our people shortchanged. But what we are doing now with a gemstone market is to add value to the stones so as to add to its beauty. People are also being trained to handle gemstones and we will also have a world-renowned center for gemstones. We are putting all effort into making Ibadan a production center.
“For the South East, we are doing a lead processing center in Ebonyi and for south south, we are processing barite. It is in abundance around that area and we are processing it. For the north east, it is kaolin, it is something used in the pharmaceutical industry” he said.
He added that government has demonstrated through these six regional projects, the possibilities, it is not taking up all the space so there is room for investors to come in and invest in 44 minerals.
The head of mining sector in Nigeria for the event consultant, PwC, Mr Habib Jayeola observed that the federal government has pushed the mining sector forward for shared prosperity. Hence, it is appropriate to show case the successes recorded in the sector during the event.
The mining week 2022 which is slated for November 1 to 3 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja would also address the environmental and social governance issues as the country prepares to transition into a net zero economy in 2060.
Other topical issues to be address are: women and child labour rights in the mining sector, access to finance, the innovative mining cadastral office among others.
The event which is organised by PwC, Vulka Group and the Miners Association of Nigeria is hosted by the ministry of mines and steel development.
To attend the Nigerian Mining Week that brings together all the stakeholders in the mining sector, visit – www.nigeriaminingweek.com
Some of the dignitaries at the event include the minister of state, mines and steel development, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade, directors and representatives of the sponsors.