The Federal Government of Nigeria is targeting a 5% contribution from mining to the Gross Domestic Product of the nation by year 2025.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite at a webinar organized by the Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce.
Architect Adegbite who was the keynote speaker said Nigeria is a nation rich in resources, with about 44 different types of solid minerals located in 500 locations across the country.
According to him with the oil price shocks and effects of COVID 19 pandemic hitting Nigeria as a nation, solid minerals provided an avenue for diversifying the nation’s revenue.
Speaking further he stressed that under the strategy of the Ministry and Federal Government, 7 minerals has been designated as key drivers of the mining agenda of the country and they include; Coal, Gold, Iron Ore, Bitumen, Limestone, Lead Zinc and Bauxite.
Giving further insight he said Bitumen for example which Nigeria has huge reserves in can be deployed for road construction and deepening the infrastructure base of the economy.
He added that some key minerals that will also be considered by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development are Lithium and Cobalt for industrialization and development of areas like aerospace, telecommunications and electric vehicle manufacturing.
The Minister also outlined some of the current reforms embarked on by the Ministry, which include:
The Automation of the Mining Cadastral System
Roll out of the National Geographical survey to provide data for investors and increase transparency in the Mining sector
The Operationalizing of Artisanal mining activities Approval of Customs and Import duty waiver for imported items for mining
Tax holiday for 3-5 years for players in the Mining sector Provision for a 100% ownership allowed for Mineral Properties by Foreign Investors
Looking at the Gold segment which the Minister said it had become a priority for the government, with K & Smith and Dukia licensed as refineries for the precious mineral in the country.
He also highlighted the mineral economic corridor plan of the government which is designed to leverage a robust transport infrastructure for the ease of movement for solid minerals across the country.
In his opening remarks, the President of the NBCC, Mr. Kayode Falowo said the webinar was an opportunity to gain insight into the reforms and activities of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
Mr Falowo believed if well harnessed and utilized, the mining industry can create more jobs and increase revenue for the government.