Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi, announced on Tuesday, that the ministry will, in the coming week, release the road map that would guide local and foreign investors in the mining sector.
During a meeting with the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Perry Calderwood, the minister disclosed that the document will not only give details of the quantity and quality of mineral deposit in the country, it will state the categories of mining licences and also ensure strict adherence to the conditions attached to them, among other things.
Lamenting that 80 per cent of the artisanal mining in the country were unrecorded, the minister said that Nigeria is open and willing to partner with Canada and any other country with successful mining industries who also have interest in Nigeria.“By the time we release the road map, more investors will show interest in the sector” he said.
The minister also disclosed that his findings had revealed that Nigeria would earn more revenue that will help boost its economy if it could effectively block leakages in the sector. He therefore ensures strict adherence to regulatory framework and put in place a thorough supervision of the sector.
Assuring the country of the role agricultural and mining will play in boosting President Buhari’s aim of diversifying the country’s economy, the minister stressed that the Minerals and Mining Act of 2007 contained the best practices in terms of incentives to investors and that government was set to implement it by partnering with the ministry of industry, trade and investment as well as the National Assembly, Nigerian banks and universities. The minister also said,
We are working out partnership with the ministry of industry, trade and investment to help market the sector; our research institutes and universities to achieve better data and supply of expertise; the National Assembly for legislation. We also need the financial sector to understand the mining sector. We need the banks to set up solid minerals desk in their banks.
In response to this, the Canadian High Commissioner, recognized and appreciated President Mohammadu Buhari’s efforts towards the diversification of the nation’s economy through agricultural and mining sector.
Speaking further, the commissioner urged the government under the Buhari administration to make the sector more attractive to investors by tackling security and regulatory issues, which according to him, were sources of discouragement to investors.
In his reassuring response, Mr. Fayemi explained how the Nigerian government was tackling the issues, stressing that “security, corruption and growing the economy” remain paramount to the administration.