06 December 2014, Jos — As crude oil price continues to nose-dive, the federal government has said the much-needed diversification of the economy from oil can be achieved with deliberate commitment to utilising the mass deposit of solid minerals in virtually every state in the country.Speaking during his opening remarks at a three-day professional development workshop for mining engineers in Nigeria taking place in Jos, Plateau State capital, the Minister of Mines and Steels Development, Musa Mohammed Sada, said: “The training was in fulfillment of the Vision 20:2020 and the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan to facilitate the establishment of professional programmes for its practising professionals aimed at ensuring that mineral development in the country is carried out in line with world best practices.
The minister who was represented by the Director of Artisanal and Small Scale Mining, Mr. Patrick Ojeka, added: “The solid mineral can compliment, and even do better than other revenue sources for the country, if fully and well harnessed.
“That is why this training is apt and timely too, because the nation’s revenue is dwindling and there is need to look at the solid mineral as alternative.
“I have therefore no doubt in my mind that the professional training is in the interest of the present administration and in the interest of professionals who need to update their knowledge and acquire new skills.
“It will also help improve mineral processing methods as participants are trained to acquire and improve on the necessary techniques. This will definitely add value to the economy of the country.”
The training which was organised by the Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG) has the theme: ‘Preparation of Bankable Mining Feasibility Study Report’.
The acting Vice-Chancellor of Plateau State University, Professor Stephen Mallo, who represented the state Governor, Jonah Jang, described the event as a welcome development, as he appealed to the organisers of the workshop to consider training people at the lower level who are unprofessionally involved in mining activities.
The training consultant, and Managing Director of GEOPO Limited, Professor Ibrahim Garba, also noted that Nigeria had failed to make impact in area of mining due to poor knowledge of the people in the mining sector. He however expressed hope that through such refresher courses and knowledge updating trainings, the sector would find its footing again as a major stay of the country’s economy.
*Seriki Adinoyi – Thisday