The Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite, has expressed willingness to collaborate with stakeholders in the sector towards re-positioning of the mining sector to actualise the diversification agenda of the present administration.
The Minister stated this when he received a high-powered delegation from Mining Association of Nigeria (MAN), as well as members of Price Water Cooper (PWC), PW and Infrastructure Partnership African Development (iPAD), who paid him a courtesy visit on him at the Ministry’s Headquarters on Tuesday, 3rd September, 2019.
He noted that strong collaboration and support of all stakeholders is needed in harnessing the sector’s potentials to generate revenue and contribute to nation’s Gross Domestic Productivity (GDP).
While commending the good works of the stakeholders in the progressive development of the sector, he noted that strong partnership with the Ministry will ensure an effective implementation of their mandate and promote sustainable mining practices that will take the nation to greater height.
He assured that the Ministry will take concrete steps to address the earlier raised issues affecting the industry in order to broaden the range of opportunities available for the citizenry and create national wealth to fulfill the poverty alleviation plan of the Federal Government.
Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of State, Dr.Uchechukwu Ogah, appreciated them for identifying with the Ministry and urged them to embrace the industry as a key sector that will drive Nigeria to the next level.
Dr. Ogah also appealed to the PWC to deliberate on best ways to de-risk the industry in order to increase the country’s GDP, adding that the Ministry will provide necessary enabling environment that will enhance investment in the sector.
In his address, the former President of MAN, Alhaji Shehu Sani, noted that the essence of their visit was to congratulate the Ministers on their appointment to pilot the affairs of the Ministry.
In his contribution, the new MAN’s President, Alhaji Kabir Mohammadu Kankari, acknowledged the efforts of former Ministers, Dr.Fayemi and Engr. Bawa Bwari, towards revitalising the sector, which include provision of vehicles for State and Federal Mining officers, decentralising the activities of mining cadastral officers, and actively supporting the Nigerian mining week, among others.
He, however, highlighted some challenges bedeviling the sector such as lack of risk mechanism, mining communities’ challenges, illegal mining operations, unlawful interference by State and Local government, lack of geological information to attract more foreign and local investors, among others factors and solicited for adequate solution to the problems.
The representatives of PWC and iPAD, Messers Cyril Azoba and Kudakwasha Tsingano, respectively, briefed the Ministers on the upcoming Mining Week, which has been slated for 14th – 16th of October, 2019. They disclosed that programmes and activities are being put in place to make it a colourful event and also used the opportunity to extend their invitation to all stakeholders in the industry.
In a vote of thanks, the Director (ASM) Mr. Patrick Ojeka, appreciated the visiting team for their participation in the discourse, adding that as key industry players, they should strive hard to develop the sector for national growth.
According to him, the Association needs to synergise with the ministry to realise its development agenda of transforming the sector into a major industry that will boost productivity and drive economic activities.