01 May 2016, Ile Ife – The Federal Government is set to hit another gold mine in the solid mineral sector, which has potentials to fetch the nation about N5 trillion annually, if adequately harnessed.
*Dr Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Minerals.
This was disclosed by Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Mineral Development, during the third Chief John Agboola Odeyemi Annual Lecture at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun, weekend.
Fayemi, who offered an insight into what he believed would be Nigeria’s next frontier of opportunity, stated that the Federal Government would no longer renege in its bid to diversify the nation’s economy, saying his ministry was working assiduously to realize this objective and had sought the cooperation of all stakeholders in the sector to attain success.
Pointing out that the country’s dependence on crude oil had blinded and taught it a great lesson, Fayemi said it was imperative for Nigeria to stop paying lip service to the development of other sectors to enable it come out stronger and be on the path of sustainable development.
Speaking on the theme: ‘Harnessing Our Natural and Cultural Heritage for National Development,” Fayemi, who took the audience back on how the country fared during the colonial period when it progressively carried out extensive geological surveys and had a good idea of the extent of its mineral reserves, noted that Nigeria currently had about 44 known mineral assets that were not fully harnessed.
He advised states and investors to invest in the sector as it had the potentialities to change the economy of many states who go to Abuja every month for stipends.
He, however, cautioned investors to moderate their expectation for quick returns within the context of the economic reality.