Nigeria is taking significant steps to diversify its economy by offering investors a substantial stake, at least 75%, in a proposed solid minerals corporation. The move is aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on oil.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Minister Dele Alake announced that the government would retain no more than a 25% stake in the Nigerian Solid Minerals Corp, with the rest allocated to private investors and the public. Nigeria’s underdeveloped mining sector currently contributes less than 1% to the country’s GDP.
As part of this initiative, lawmakers are considering integrating defunct state-owned miners, the National Iron-Ore Company and Bitumen Concessioning Programme, into the new corporation. Additionally, plans include establishing a specialized mines police force to combat illegal mining activities.
The proposed Nigerian Solid Minerals Corp is envisioned as a key driver to attract investments for the extraction of various resources, including gold, coal, iron ore, bitumen, lead, baryte, and lithium.
A total of 499 licenses have already been issued to companies and individuals for buying and selling minerals. Notably, applications for lithium licenses topped the list at 146, followed by 91 for gold.
To regulate the dominance of artisanal miners in the sector, the government aims to organize them into cooperatives, allowing them to bid for licenses.
Minister Alake reported that 2,329 artisanal miners have been registered into cooperatives so far, as part of the efforts to bring structure and regulation to this segment of the mining industry.