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How mining can deepen economic growth, by Osinbajo

Precious stones

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the development of the mining sector is key to the success of the new National Development Plan 2021-2025, and has remained an important component of this administration’s economic policy since 2015.

He also reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to the revitalization and development of the sector while ensuring it attracts more local and foreign investments.

Prof. Osinbajo said this yesterday, in his remarks delivered virtually at the opening of the 5th Annual Nigeria Mining Week Discourse Series, themed, “Top Seven Reasons to Invest in Nigeria’s Mining Sector.”

He said: “It is significant that within the space of a year, we have recorded a 26.7% increase in revenue generation from 2019 to 2020. But while this is encouraging, we recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done.

“That is why this forum is so important. We are privileged to have in attendance, so many distinguished experts and resource persons that deeply understand governance vis-à-vis the Mining Sector in Nigeria.”

According to a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, the Vice President also highlighted the inflow of notable investments already recorded in the sector. “These investments include Thor Exploration Limited’s Segilola Gold Mine in Osun State, with an initial production capacity of 80,000 ounces of gold annually, representing the first large-scale gold mine in Nigeria.”

He equally cited the inauguration of the Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refinery (DGPMR) project, which potential impact he described as revolutionary.

“By providing offtake opportunities through the establishment of Precious Metals Buying Centres, it serves as a spur for more small and medium scale mining investment, while its refinery symbolizes its focus on value addition in the gold and precious metals industry in Nigeria and West Africa.

“A similarly remarkable investment is the integrated Iron Ore Mining and Processing Plant set up by African Natural Resources and Mines Limited (ANRML) in Kaduna, which has an initial production capacity of 4.704 million tons of iron per annum and will scale up to 5.88 million tons per annum.”

As we deepen our efforts to revitalize the mining sector, we are doing so with lessons learned from half a century of resource extraction. We recognize, for instance, that it is not enough to seek investment merely for the sake of exploitation and extraction.

Resource beneficiation

Furthermore, he said the Federal Government aims to develop local industries, generate employment, and “focus on resource beneficiation to create wealth along the mineral value chain.

“As we deepen our efforts to revitalize the mining sector, we are doing so with lessons learned from half a century of resource extraction. We recognize, for instance, that it is not enough to seek investment merely for the sake of exploitation and extraction.

“What will be evident to a potential investor is that we have built a robust framework for the mining sector, line by line. In 2016, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, produced a clear Roadmap for the growth and development of the Nigerian Mining Sector Industry.

“In pursuit of the goals set forth in the Roadmap, government initiated an ambitious reform regime in the sector, the flagship of which is the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Programme (NIMEP), designed to rapidly generate geological data with the aim of de-risking the sector and attracting high calibre investments.”

The Vice President expressed confidence that the 5th Annual Nigeria Mining Week Discourse Series would be a veritable platform “for strategic reflection, incubation of ideas and production of actionable policy propositions on diverse issues of mining along its value chain.”

The Nigeria Mining Week is organized by the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), in collaboration with the private sector and is supported by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

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