Though there are enormous mineral resources to actualize government’s objective, the sector is yet to witness appreciable growth due to some challenges.
But what are the issues affecting the sector and how should the sector be repositioned for optimal performance? These are some of the questions begging for answers.
Available statistics indicate that the mining sector accounts for only 0.3% (zero point three percent) of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
This is even as the country is richly blessed with many mineral resources such as Coal, Iron Ore, Lead, Zinc and has been in mining operations since 1903 when the Mineral Survey of Northern protectorate was created by the British colonial government.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi explained that the Federal government was worried over poor performance of the sector and would support the stakeholders to develop it.
Giving insight into the renewed interest, a Mining Engineer explained that the sector would make appreciable impact in the diversification of the nation’s economy only when the government must have developed a data base for its mineral reserves.
Other challenges he mentioned were the activities of informal miners who colluded with investors to shortchange the government.
Reacting, Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi attributed some of the challenges facing the sector to the issuance of redundant licences which he said abound in the State.
Radio Nigeria visited Enyigba, a community in Abakaliki Local Government Area reputable for its huge endowment with Zinc and Lead minerals.
Recounting the experience of his community, the traditional ruler of the area, Eze Michael Nwaobashi, stressed the need for mining companies to be committed to their corporate social responsibilities.
Eze Nwaobashi pointed out that with enough investment in the sector, the economic challenges facing the country would be a thing of the past.