The Federal Government of Nigeria has set a target of 5% growth for solid minerals sector contribution to Gross Domestic product by 2025 from the current 0.6%.
Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo announced the target during a ‘Virtual Conference on solid minerals development with theme, ‘Sustainable Mining in Nigeria: The Critical Role of Local Governments for the Realization of Economic Diversification Agenda Through the Mineral Sector’.
Mr. Osinbajo who commended the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for the initiative expressed optimism that the conference will engender mutual understanding and collaboration especially now that the country is challenged by divisive sentiments.
He said: “As the Vice President, I am not oblivious of the past efforts of the Ministry to engage the State Government leaderships through the National Executive Council and the approvals of Federal Executive Council over issues of interferences in mineral administration by other tiers of government.
Mining legal regime
“Today’s event offers us a golden opportunity to sensitise the closest tier to the grassroots where most of the mining activities occur on the prevailing mining legal regime and the mutual benefits of a sustainable mining in Nigeria. I am confident that we can achieve our goal of sustainable mining in Nigeria if the local government chairmen here present would take this message to the grassroots especially the various mining communities in their council areas,” said the Vice President.
“It is very delighting to note that available report today from the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) confirms that Nigeria is endowed with over 44 mineral deposits occurring in commercial quantities in over 500 locations across the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. Accordingly, it can be reasonably inferred that every Local Government Council (LGC) Area of the country is endowed with one or more mineral resources that can be harnessed for the development of the LGC and the country at large.
“The value chain of these mineral resources remains largely untapped and as such they are not readily available for sustainable economic development of the country more so that the mining industry is dominated by over 90% artisanal operators.
“It was on the aforesaid premise that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration decided to anchor his administration’s Diversification Agenda on two key sectors of Mining and Agriculture,” he added.