18 August, 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja – To attract local and foreign direct investment for the development of the nation’s mining industry, the Nigerian governmen says it will open investment promotion units in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and all its agencies.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Musa Mohammed Sada, stated this while receiving a delegation of investors from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), saying the process of establishing the investment promotion units is in progress.
He explained that when the plan is actualised, local and foreign investors would easily access on-line any investment information they sought for in the minerals and metal sector.
The minister said the government was ready to assist and collaborate with foreign investors towards the development of Nigeria’s mining industry.
Sada said one major challenge militating against the development of the nation’s mining industry was funding. He added that the present administration was trying to address that challenge through the establishment of a Solid Minerals Development Fund, whose Board of Directors will be inaugurated soon.
According to him, banks and other financial institutions in the country are beginning to show interest of investing in the nation’s mining industry as a result of reforms in the sub-sector. He added that the sector is driven by the private sector while government administers and regulates.
Sada stated that the Federal Government was focused on the development of seven strategic minerals such as coal, bitumen, iron-ore, lead/zinc, barytes, gold, and limestone.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the investors from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Mr. Mujtaba Sarfaraz, the Senior Vice-President of Mas Clearsight Limited, said that the essence of their visit was to explore the possibility of investing in Nigeria’s mining industry.
Sarfaraz disclosed that his company is into mine development and feasibility studies among other areas. Some of the minerals they intend to explore and exploit in Nigeria include coal, iron-ore, manganese and copper among others.