The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a draft policy for the solid minerals sector, encompassing oil activities, operations, guidelines, regulatory framework, sourcing, and mining, among other dynamics in the sector.
The minister of solid minerals development, Dele Alake, said this when he briefed journalists after the FEC, held at the Presidential Villa on Monday in Abuja.
He said the approval empowered the ministry to act precisely on various issues, including security measures, combating illegal mining activities across the country, and securing Nigeria’s economic survival.
The minister said that the solid minerals sector was critical to Nigeria’s economic survival due to ongoing changes in the global oil market, the push for climate change, and the shift towards green energy.
“Illegal mining activities, from artisanal miners to high-level involvement, are significant challenges,” he said.
He said that government was reorganising the security structure and engaging in inter-agency cooperation to combat the menace of illegal mining.
“The approval today, as part of the policy, allows the Solid Minerals Ministry to act on all matters related to deregulation, management, operation, and environmental sanitisation of the Solid Minerals sector.
“This makes the sector more investor-friendly, ensuring security and stability for investments, and attracting both local and foreign investors.
“Therefore, the operationalisation of the solid minerals sector through today’s policy approval aims to sanitise the sector,” Mr Alake added.