Cutting red tape that slows business transactions and improving the security of mining operations are among the fresh commitments unfolded by Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Oladele Alake, at the Mines & Money Conference, which opened in London, United Kingdom, on Tuesday.
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 costs due to surface mining and billions of dollars in untapped minerals.
He quoted recent reports by audit firm KPMG, which reported that mining’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.”
Dr. Alake said the administration of President Bola Tinubu has embarked on reforms to boost investment by streamlining procedures and reducing hurdles to attract foreign investors.
Showcasing recent progress in creating conditions for solid mineral development, Dr Alake highlighted fresh data revealed by the Airborne Geophysical Survey, a 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 communities and lead to processing instead of wholesale export of raw minerals.
“Nigeria is currently emphasising solid mineral beneficiation and value addition as panaceas 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 said
Dr Alake urged investors to support the socio-economic development of the communities where they mine to make mining mutually beneficial.
Citing the recent launch of the revised guidelines for the Community Development Agreement, which provide for social amenities, educational support, health and safety, and environmental facilities,
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