Yetunde Verissimo, The Sight News
Abuja-The Federal government has approved a sum of 30billion Naira from the natural resources fund to help promote exploration for new minerals and also support artisan mining in the country.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Dr. Fayemi Kayode who said this at the 53rd Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Society for Mining and Geosciences, on Tuesday in Abuja, also said that the Nigerian Mining industry had the capacity to generate N5 trillion annually from mining and exporting of its vast Solid mineral with an anticipated mining Gross Domestic Product(GDP) of over $25billion by 2026.
The Minister who noted that although the Mineral and Mining sector had faced many challenges, expressed believe that it still holds the key for wealth creation and economic diversification in Nigeria.
According to him; “Our aspiration is to build a world class minerals and mining ecosystem designed to serve a targeted domestic and export market for minerals and ores. We will achieve this by focusing on Nigeria’s Minerals mining and related processing industry over a 3 phase period.”
Earlier, President of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS)Professor Olugbenga Okunlola,called for a continual collective integration and corporation between government, industry, academia and technical partners to support Geosciences data collection and provision of precompletion geosciences information to mining companies to support economically viable extraction.
He commended the efforts of the President on the revitalization and diversification of the economy and the Minister of Mines and Steel for his efforts in the sector which he admits are beginning to yield positive returns.
Also, the European Delegate to Nigeria, Ambassador, Michel Arrion, Advised that the country need not look far for financial aid but to look within its region for profitable transactions, stressing on the need for diversification.
He said; “Don’t look at the EU or the United States, just look at your regional market, you could export to your neighbor and your neighbor can pay you in Euros and dollars, so you will kill two birds with one stone.”
He added that Nigeria is blessed with vast resources that is visible as he said that the problem is to translate the resources into exportations, operational activities and an enabling environment.