The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr.Kayode Fayemi has maintained that mining sector would provide over 300,000 jobs and millions of indirect employment for Nigerians before the end of the year.
Fayemi who disclosed this at 1st Nigeria Mining Week, organized by Miners Association of Nigeria, in partnership with Dolf Madi Consulting in Abuja, said all hands must be on deck to generate and create wealth.
Represented by Minister of State, Bawa Bwari, he said, “in mining sector, our guiding principle is to re-position the sector to achieve our mandate of increasing contribution to Gross Domestic Product, GDP and deliver shared prosperity to stakeholders.”
According to him, the roadmap would provide a pathway for sustainable turnaround and growth of mining and metal sectors over the short, medium and long term, adding that the conference would address some of the priority areas of the document.
“Yes, there are quick-win in the industry which we have already started achieving. The debate continues on how we missed the opportunities in the past to leverage the vast resources to industrialize and become a great nation”, he remarked.
He said: “We have since 1999 begun to find our way out of the woods and the sector is witnessing some positive development and we are building on the efforts already established by ministerial predecessors.”
He therefore, argued that government as an administrator-regulator in partnership with private sector would embark on reforms of existing Acts supporting body of regulation designed to give Nigeria a competitive legal and framework for the sector.
On actions so far taken to fine-tune the sector, he said, they have identified key challenges hindering it from significantly contributing to GDP and outlined strategies with timelines to tackle them during period.
He revealed, arrangements are being concluded to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria Geological Survey Agency and its Chinese counterpart on a geosciences data generation programme.
“This is in addition to the formalization and extension services being rendered by Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Department of the Ministry for the purpose of making artisanal operations safer and sustainable in the country,” he added.
Also, Mr. Ola Alokolaro, Managing Partner Head of Energy and Infrastructure Group said there 34 identified minerals that can both be used drastically in the construction sector and exported to earn much needed foreign exchange.
He said lack of road and rail infrastructure posed a hinder and to mining sector.