If local mining is expanded, there definitely would be more jobs for a large chunk of the unemployed youthful population of Nigeria, Mr. Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi, has said.
Arabi, Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, BPSR, stated this in Abuja during a lunch-time reform seminar organized by their Bureau.
At the event themed, “The Role and Contribution of Solid Minerals Development Fund in Job Creation and Diversification of the Nigerian Economy,” he the DG noted that Nigeria, as a nation, is blessed with both human and material resources.
“There is no gainsaying that the country will achieve a staggering growth rate if it harnesses its material resources,” he stated.
Arabi, while delivering his opening remarks, said Nigeria must get down to exploring all of its solid mineral resources and ensuring that they are exchanged for their real monetary value.
His words: “This suggestion comes on the heels of the fact that Nigeria has apparently not been deriving the maximum value that accrues from the exploration and exchange of its highly priced solid mineral resources.
“It is well known that Nigeria’s mineral resources, both solid and liquid, are some of the best in the world, and should as such, amount to real monetary value for the country”.
The BPSR helmsman, however, cautioned that accountability and transparency must strictly be applied in keeping proper record of the exploration and exchange of the said solid mineral resources, to curb the spate of financial recklessness.
In her presentation, Umaru-Shinkafi, Executive Secretary SMDF, said Nigeria is a natural investment destination and the agency has been structured to synergies with investors.
“We are here to promote private sector-led investments, although we do have a social investment angle to the fund, we need to be innovative with regards to finance.
“I can see collaborative opportunities, interesting times. We are active in the sector and there are still a lot of projects coming on-stream,” she said.
She said it was important for the private and public sectors to move in the same direction.
“We see opportunities in long-term private equity projects in the SME value chain in the mineral sector in Nigeria.
“Despite subdued private investments in the gold sector and the absence of an operating gold mine, Nigeria’s artisanal gold production has almost doubled since 2015.
“To date, Nigeria accounts for just 2% of the total gold production volumes in Africa with an estimated 854 tons.
“There is huge opportunity for growth there,” the SMDF executive director said.
The theme of the seminar is “The role and contribution of solid minerals development fund in job creation and diversification of the Nigerian economy.”
The mandate of the SMDF is to spur the development of Nigeria’s mining sector by undertaking targeted sustainable, profit-oriented investments and interventions in key areas.
It is also to work closely with stakeholders in the sector to achieve set targets.
Aliyu Umar Aliyu
Principal Information Officer