Stakeholders in the mining sector on Monday advocated diversification of the solid minerals sector for better revenue generation, job creation for economic growth.
They said access to credit by industry players in the sector is necessary to drive growth and the outcome of these efforts will benefit Nigerians.
Stakeholders spoke at a conference in Abuja, organized by the Nigerian Society of Economic Geologists (NSEG), on the theme: “Economic Diversification: The Role of the Geoscientist, Government and the Private Sector”.
Addressing the stakeholders, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said there was an urgent need to diversify the Nigerian economy for the prosperity of the nation.
Adegbite, who was represented by the Director General of the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), Obadiah Nkom, noted that the theme of the conference is to define the roles of key stakeholders in the development of the mining sector.
He said, “Nigeria’s mining sector offers strong economic potential for the diversification of the national economy, but the country and indeed many other African countries have continued to suffer from the underutilization of their mineral resources. .
“This explains the slow phase of socio-economic development in Nigeria and many African countries. Our country is known for operating a mono economy where oil accounts for nearly 90% of foreign exchange earnings. The current administration found this appalling and called the situation unacceptable and promised to urgently find solutions to address the challenges,” he said.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Society of Economic Geologists (NSEG), Dr. Abdulrasaq Abubakar Garba, observed that there is a need to diversify the Nigerian economy away from its reliance solely on crude oil by focusing more on d ‘other areas, including the strong minerals and agriculture sectors to increase the nation’s wealth.
Garba said, “Our company looks forward to all players in the sector to provide answers to some difficult economic development questions to put Nigeria on a real path to economic recovery and bring it to greatness as a nation. prosperous. This gathering should therefore gather the best knowledge to aggregate and articulate our thoughts on the way forward for our dear country.
“Economic geologists play a critical role across the entire mineral value chain, from exploration to mining; and even during the post-mining phase when environmental issues and land reclamation for sustainable use are addressed.
“Economic geologists must also engage with interested stakeholders to obtain social and mining license licenses to operate while providing investors with the prerequisites to raise capital for exploration and mining,” he said. he declares.
Also speaking, the President of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), Alabo Charles, explained that the Nigerian constitution gives the federal government control over all natural resources.
He said, “The potential of the mining sector to contribute significantly to Nigeria’s economy cannot be overstated. The roadmap for the growth and development of the Nigerian mining industry highlights the potential for a gradual increase in the sector’s contribution to GDP over the coming decades.