FG accelerating mining sector development to boost economy, create jobs — minister

The Federal Government says it is accelerating development of the mining sector to boost the country’s economy as well as creating jobs.

Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development said this on Thursday at the opening of the 20th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Society of Mining Engineers (NSME).

The meeting with the theme “Repositioning the Nigerian Mining Sector for Accelerated National Development” is in Gombe state.

Represented by Mr Obadiah Nkom, the Director-General of the Nigeria Mining Cadastre, Adegbite said the mining sector had remained largely underdeveloped in spite of the diversity of minerals resources in commercial quantities across the states.

According to him, this necessitated President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s efforts in developing the sector for the good of all Nigerians.

He stated that the Federal Government was working to reposition the sector as a way of diversifying the nation’s economy from oil to ensure all inclusive growth and sustainable growth and development.

“Our goal is to grow the capacity of the mining industry to serve as reliable alternative revenue source for national development.

“This is now more compelling, given the volatility of the oil revenues as this informed government’s decision to designate Mining and Agriculture Sectors as focal points of drive for non-oil revenue sources,” he said.

The minister added that the industry had helped government in creating jobs and wealth for communities, industrial development, and energy efficiency among other benefits.

According to him, the Federal Government has embarked on several initiatives to develop the mining industry to harness the huge potential of the industry.

He listed some of the initiatives to include strengthening critical mineral sector institutions to quality services to industry, restructuring the Solid Minerals Development Fund as key strategic vehicle to provide technical capacity and funding.

Others include generating reliable geoscience data, application of digital processes in governance of the sector, advancing the formalisation of informal mining operations, skills building for employment and establishment of mineral processing clusters in six zones.

Adegbite on participants to help contribute innovative engineering solutions that would promote development and growth of the mining industry in the country. (NAN)