31 January 2013, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – The Nigerian Government says it is determined to increase the revenue generated from exploitation of solid minerals and metals resources in the country and thereby diversify the national economy from its dependence on oil and gas.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Musa Mohammed Sada who stated this while formally presenting the Road Map for the Development of the Solid Minerals and Metals sector to stakeholders at an event in Abuja, said it will chart the path for the resolution of the problems and challenges facing the sector.
He noted that the implementation of the road map for the development of Nigeria’s minerals and metals sector would among many other things “contribute at least 10% to the nation’s GDP by 2020, as well as create about 3 million direct and indirect jobs by 2015.”
He said, “The road map for development of the solid minerals and metals sector is designed to create wealth for our citizens and produce needed raw material for the manufacturing sector/ the construction Industry.
“It will also earn foreign exchange for the nation through export of mineral commodities and metals.”
According to him, government recognizes the need for a road map that will pave the way for the country to attain its economic, social and environmental objectives through sustainable exploration and exploitation of the nation’s vast mineral endowment
“The exploration and exploitation of Nigeria’s available solid minerals resources is an important component of a diversified economy, a desired outcome of Nigeria’s economic transformation, strategy and one of the policy priorities of the Federal government,” he said.
Sada noted that development of the road map for the solid minerals and metals sector is to take full advantage of the rising international and local commodity prices and the global resurgence of exploitation and exploitation activities with attendant huge investment in the sector.
The road map for the development of the solid minerals and metals sector will operate on the short term, medium term and long term basis.
The Minister further stressed that several factors are currently in place to stimulate the sector including improved geological information on the diverse metallic and non-metallic mineral potentials, and a favorable policy framework for international and local investors.
Other impetus for the growth of the sector, according to him include, the new national solid minerals policy which offers a competitive environment for solid minerals development, and the availability (on the International technology market) of low cost mineral production processes which if properly sourced and assembled.
He stressed that the road map focuses on the exploration, development, exploitation (mining and processing) and marketing of the mineral resources/minerals commodities of the country.
“The road map shall be in tandem with the prevailing Government Policy which makes the private sector the owner and operator of solid minerals and metals projects with government facilitating and providing necessary enabling environment for the development of the solid minerals and metals sector,” Sada explained.
He added that the road map would evolve an efficient responsive and effective sector specific policy framework as well as facilitate the creation of a conducive macro-economic environment.
Government on its own part, he said, would initiate policies that would improve the infrastructural support facilities in the mineral bearing areas.