MoS Speech at the Nigeria-China Mining Roadshow in Beijing China

Being the text of the ministerial statement by

Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari

Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development

Federal Republic of Nigeria

at the

NIGERIA-CHINA MINING ROADSHOW

 Protocols and Introduction

Honourable Minister of Lands and Natural Resources of The People’s Republic of China, our most gracious host and partner, distinguished officials, members of the diplomatic corps and respected participants.

  1. On behalf of the Nigerian Government, I wish to extend our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the Government of China for its continued partnership and cooperation with Nigeria. It has been a long standing relationship, characterised by mutual respect, and we believe our partnership will continue to grow and prosper for the mutual benefit of both countries.
  2. The fact that this is the third visit I have led to China in the last few months, indicates the seriousness and commitment which the Government of Nigeria attaches to this relationship and to the mining sector in particular. Permit me to also recall that the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari was here a few months ago with a high powered delegation which explored a wide range of partnerships and areas of bilateral cooperation. This is a clear testimony to the importance Nigeria attaches to this very important partnership.
  3. Today, I am leading a very broad-based delegation made up of highly competent experts in the mining sector, the public and private sectors, distinguished members of Nigeria’s National Assembly and the media to this maiden edition of the Nigeria-China Mining Road show. I wish to thank, very sincerely, the leadership and staff of the Nigerian Embassy in China for their assistance and tireless support to make this mission a success.
  4. This event is indeed a watershed event for two reasons: The Nigeria-China Mining Investment Road Show is designed to provide a platform for Nigerian and Chinese investors to engage with each other throughout the entire value chain in the industry and to showcase the vast investment opportunities for Chinese investors in the mining sector.
  5. Secondly, the Road show will culminate in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency and the Geological Survey of China. We are delighted that we will be signing this MOU, finally, four years after the broader MOU was signed in 2012.
  6. Nigeria has a rich geology outlay which hosts an array of mineral resources. About 44 different types of minerals made up of metallic, precious, industrial and energy minerals have been documented in over 500 locations across the country. As you know, Nigeria has a long history of involvement with the mineral and metals industry that dates way back in time.
  7. China`s demand for mineral raw materials for its industries is unprecedented around the world and this positions Nigeria as a sure destination because of its highly underexplored and underexploited mineral resources. We are hopeful that the implementation of the MOU will lead to improved geo-science data generation and hence a greater investor confidence in the mining sector.
  8. The focus of the MOU is very much in keeping with the New Mining Road Map of Nigeria which seeks to fast track the development and exploitation of Nigeria’s mineral endowment, thereby facilitating the diversification of the economy through the Solid Minerals Sector. Government funding of the sector has been enhanced and additional funding sources through a special Natural Resources Development Fund and World Bank-Assisted Loans are being deployed for the generation of bankable geo-science data and the overall development of the sector.
  9. As you all know, credible geo-sciences data is critical for investment in the sector. The country has acquired Airborne geophysical data covering over 2 million line kilometers comprising Radiometry, magnetic and Gravity. Moreover, Geological maps on 1.2million, 1,500,000 and partly 1,100,000 and Geo-chemical data for a part of the country, are also available.
  10. We are therefore eagerly looking forward to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding and the co-operation agreement for Low-Density Geochemical mapping between the China Geological Survey and Nigerian Geological Survey Agency during this Mining Roadshow. The implementation of these agreements will go a long way in boosting the generation of more credible geosciences data that will guide investment decisions.
  11. The Mining Laws and the Mining Cadastral system of Nigeria rank among the best in the world, providing good legislative framework for operation in the sector. However, the dearth of infrastructures continue to present a great challenge for investment in mining. In view of the deep commitment of the current administration to the growth of the sector, attention is being given to the provision of infrastructures like roads, railways, water, communication networks, power generation, transmission and distribution, e.t.c.
  12. The process of reactivating the Ajaokuta Steel Complex has been initiated and very soon the project shall be put through a competitive and transparent bidding process. The nation’s coal resources and bitumen are also being readied for bidding through a thorough transaction process and will subsequently be partitioned into blocks to be concessioned to prospective investors. Let me use this occasion to invite our Chinese friends and investors to participate actively in this processes.
  13. Let me further assure you that you will find Nigeria a very attractive mining destination. You will find a government that is truly committed to providing you with the requisite enabling environment, predictable policy, legal, regulatory framework and security for you to maximize your investments.
  14. The Ministry of Mines and Steel will stand ready, always, to provide the necessary support and guidance.
  15. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, once more let me thank our Chinese hosts, all our partners, participants and the Nigerian Embassy staff for making this conference a reality.
  16. Thank you for your kind attention.

Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari

Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development

Beijing, China | Wednesday, November 23, 2016