8 November 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Chairman, Nigeria’s Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, says the Nigerian government is now giving greater attention to development of the nation’s solid mineral resources.
He said this was why President Goodluck Jonathan was recently in Australia with a high-powered Nigerian-government team for discussions with the Australian government known for their expertise in mining.
Senator Adamu, who dropped the hint during a Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and Progressive Miners Empowerment Association (PMEA) forum in Abuja, said it was gratifying that President Jonathan was personally involved in discussions with the Australian government officials on moving the Nigerian Solid Minerals sector forward.
He called for unity of purpose among stakeholders in the sector to ensure the success of the government’s current determination to develop the sector.
“The sector is one, but there are sub-sectors. Spare goodwill and put yourselves together. If you are divided, you divide the goodwill of Federal Government to develop the sector,” he told the gathering.
Earlier, the Executive Director/ Chief Executive officer of NEPC, Mr. David Adulugba, who was represented by his Director of Product Development, Mrs. Omowunmi Oshibo, noted that the NEPC’s decision to collaborate with the private Sector Progressive Miners Empowerment Association (PMEA) to host the forum underscores the importance the council attaches to the need for the diversification of the national economy.
He stated that this was also in the spirit of Public Private Partnership, stating that the non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy has the potential of competing favourably with the oil sector.
“For this purpose the council created the Solid Minerals Unit to map out significant development programmes and projects for the solid mineral sector to help stop the incessant struggle of Nigerian solid minerals and to earn revenue for the nation through payment of royalties and earning foreign exchange”, he said.
He stated that the council liaises with the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) on the available data on solid minerals, urging the need for miners to participate in specialised trade fairs and international conferences to network and source for partnership for investments to develop the sector.
The President of the Progressive Miners Empowerment Association (PMEA), Dr. Sunny Okozi, expressed regret that things had not worked as it should but promised that the Association would not leave any stone unturned until the miners take their real position in the scheme of things.