15 August 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal Government has charged the nation’s solid minerals sector to strive to improve its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) to 10 percent in the next two years.
It argued that the country has abundant mineral endowments to compete favourably with the South African mining sector which contributes 18.7 per cent to its over $365 GDP.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Alhaji Abdulkadir Musa, who stated this while speaking in a keynote address at a one-day Sensitisation Forum on Solid Minerals organised by the Bank of Industry (BOI) in Abuja, noted that the sector must aspire to contribute between 5-10 per cent to the GDP.
He said, “We should aspire to achieve 5-10 per cent contribution from the solid minerals sector to the GDP within the next two years.”
Musa explained that the Federal government had put in place various policies, including the Solid Mineral Development Policy 2007 and the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), as a means of creating an investor-friendly environment for players in the sector.
He said that the Bureau of Statistics had in the report on the Nigerian mining and quarrying sector released in January 2014 shown that the sector had contributed 0.09 per cent to the GDP within the period.
He assured that as the nation seeks to diversify into non oil base sectors, the government will continue to work with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to provide the necessary incentives and support to investors in the sector.
Also commending the efforts of the BOI as a leading development finance institution, the permanent secretary said, “We are witnesses to the various laudable endeavours of the bank targeted at converting Nigeria’s competitiveness in a bid to develop the Nigerian economy and create wealth for its citizens.”
He maintained that “the bank had been consistent in providing financial and business support services to micro, small medium and large enterprises.”