Press briefing by Minister of State

Speech by

 

Honourable Abubakar Bawa Bwari

Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development

 

On the theme

Enhancing Mineral Resource Governance Towards Economic Growth and Diversification”

 

at the

MEDIA BRIEFING FOR THE MAIDEN EDITION OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON MINING AND MINERAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT  

 

Abuja, Nigeria

September 7th 2017.

 

 

 

I am delighted to be here to brief the gentlemen of the press on the maiden edition of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development which will take place between 12-14 September, 2017. I want to thank you all for coming and to express the ministry’s appreciation of your support for our efforts in reforming this sector.

  1. The National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development is basically an interactive platform where stakeholders meet annually to advise and recommend ways of improving the sector. It is advisory in nature but we are determined to ensure that its deliberations and recommendations form part of the ministry’s policies and programmes in future.
  2. The Council will have members drawn from the national and state houses of assembly, commissioners and permanent secretaries in charge of all relevant federal and state ministries, agencies and parastatals, the organised private sector, security agencies, tertiary institutions, industry players, labour unions and other professional associations, civil society organisations, artesanal and small scale miners, representatives of specialised agencies of the United Nations, development partners, women in mining, and local mining communities.
  3. The aim is to have as complete a pool of ideas as possible so that contributions from practically all those involved in the mining value chain can be at the disposal of the Ministry. Our hope is that the views of such diverse experts will enable us to fully exploit the potentials of the sector for revenue generation, job creation and sustainable mining practices.
  4. We will therefore be relying heavily on the recommendation of the council in reviewing or initiating robust policies that will increase the contribution of the mining sector to the nation’s economy.
  5. After the ministry’s Roadmap was approved by the Federal Executive Council in August last year, we determined that only through collaboration, inclusion and broad based participation of all stakeholders can we hope to achieve the laudable plans of this administration for the sector.
  6. Four months later, FEC also approved the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development (NCMMRD) thereby giving us the means to ensure maximum buy-in and support from all stakeholders.
  7. This Council will provide the biggest platform for those interested in mining to brainstorm and provide critical inputs for policy formulation, validation and other efforts aimed at reforming the sector.
  8. As usual with councils of this nature, the proceedings shall comprise ministerial and technical sessions chaired by the honourable Minister and permanent secretary of the ministry. We have already received memorandums from stakeholders and the general public for the first council meeting.
  9. We expect that the following issues will be deliberated upon by the Council when they meet next week:
  10. Mineral Sector Governance: challenges of federal/regional cooperation.
  11. Illegal Mining and Export Challenges :- policy recommendations.

iii. Mines Field Security Challenges:- social and environmental concerns.

  1. Modalities for Creating Effective Regulations for the solid mineral and metal sector.
  2. Strategies for the implementation of the Minerals Roadmap for National Development.
  3. This is by no means an exhaustive list but be assured that at the end of the day Nigerians can expect a much more friendly mining environment that is responsive to our need to become a Mining nation; that is responsive to our quest for sustainable mining environment; and that is responsive to the needs of investors as long as they obey the laws and follow laid down procedures.
  4. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I urge you all to attend the maiden council meeting and help us publicise their deliberations so that this sector which continued to grow during recession can witness even more robust growth now that we are out of the woods.

Thank you.