Abuja — The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, says science, technology and innovation, STI, is crucial in the exploitation of solid mineral resources in the country.
He stated that this was important in order to increase wealth and create more jobs for Nigerians.
The minister stated this while receiving the House of Representatives Committee on Solid Minerals Development in Abuja.
Onu spoke, specifically, of artificial intelligence, AI, and the role the National Space Research Development Agency, NASRDA, could play in guiding miners.
He said: “The National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) will help in the provision of data using satellites to guide miners to the areas where they can exploit mineral resources they need,” stressing also that artificial intelligence could be deployed by the Ministry’s space agency to help in mining safety and efficiency.
He also said that through artificial intelligence, mines could be operated remotely, in the process, minimising danger at the mines.
The minister further stated that STI would assist in the area of processing and value addition of solid minerals in order to enhance their profitability.
He maintained that sustainable and inclusive diversification of the solid mineral industry in Nigeria will ensure improved quality of life for Nigerians.
Speaking earlier, the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee, Hon. Victor Mela Dan-Zaria, said the committee’s visit was to intimate the Ministry on the upcoming International summit, “Ajaokuta 2020”.
Dan-Zaria said the essence of the summit was for economic diversification in Nigeria with special focus on the Solid Mineral industry, adding that the application of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is crucial to the development of the solid mineral industry. He said the summit will help revive the Ajaokuta steel project and aid Nigeria’s drive for industrialisation.