Reasons for $600m investments in solid minerals
Other reasons, he said, include the need to deepen the knowledge of practitioners in the Nigerian mining space, explore both old and green fields, and firming up the relationship between miners and the Nigerian Mining Geoscience Society (NMGS), in order to ensure that the solid minerals reforms are sustainable.
The government is also planning to facilitate a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between Nigeria and highly advanced mining countries such as Australia, China, Morocco, South Africa and Britain, with a view to encouraging capacity building and exchange programmes, among the affected nations, he said.
Speaking at the 2017 edition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) Conference in Eko Le’ Meriden Hotel, Lagos recently, Fayemi said the government has also provided N5 billion loan for artisans and miners, as part of efforts to encourage the growth of the sector.
He said the development became necessary in order to fully harness the potentials in the sector for improved economic growth, adding that the sector is key to the economic diversification programmes of the government.
He said the government is not leaving any stone unturned to maximise the gains of the sector and further move the economy forward. He spoke on the topic: Exploitation of Nigeria’s Mineral Resources: Hope for Economic Diversification.
He said the sector has immense potentials, stressing that the development informed the decision of the government to provide funds for the sector.
Fayemi said: ‘’ We the ( government) have discovered that the opportunities in soild minerals industry can match that of the oil and gas sector, if they are well tapped. This informed the plans by the Federal Government to create mining investment funds of $600 million for the sector. The government has reached advance stage on the issue of providing the funds. When the funds are ready, they would cater for the needs of those that engage in mining, exploration and allied areas. The government, has also, partnered with the Bank of Industry (BOI) in order to facilitate a mining fund of N5 billion for the use of artisans and small-scale miners in the sector.’’
He said Burkina Faso spends $400 million annually to search and explore more solid minerals, as against a situation where Nigeria is voting $100million for the same purpose.
‘’Nigeria has earmarked about $100 million for exploration activities, being the largest percentage of the money realised so far in the sector. Even at that, Nigeria is behind Burkina Faso and other jurisdictions in this area. For instance, Burkina Faso, is believed to be spending $400 million annually for geological prospectivity, as against Nigeria, which earmarked about $100 million for the same purpose’’ he added.