Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of my brother ministerial colleague, Hon. Abubakar Bawa-Bwari, Minister of State; and Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu, Permanent Secretary; I warmly welcome you to this occasion, being the formal inauguration of the newly constituted Boards of agencies and parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
- Today, we welcome all stakeholders from across the Mining industry who have graciously honoured our invitation to witness the inauguration of the boards of the entities under our ministry.
- This event signals another important milestone in our efforts to consolidate on the gains of this administration’s reforms in the Nigerian Mining industry as evidenced by data from the National Bureau of Statistics, that indicate a strong sectoral contribution to our economic renaissance in recent times.
- This development is timely and is in line with continuous efforts aimed at further strengthening the capacity of our ministry and her entities to fulfil our collective mandates of increasing the Mining sector’s contribution to our sovereign revenue, and significantly creating jobs, and broadening the range of economic opportunities available to young Nigerians.
- Furthermore, the Mining sector remains crucial as one of the frontiers of the Federal Government’s recently launched ‘Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (2017-2020)’, in which the Minerals and Metals sector was duly recognised as one of those to drive Nigeria’s recovery. The strategic document projected to grow sectoral contribution to GDP from N103 billion (2015) to N141 billion in 2020, at an average annual growth rate of 8.54%. Consequently, the Ministry has been selected as one of the critical players in the ERGP Focus Labs about to be launched by Mr. President this week.
- Other targets for the sector include the facilitation of Coal to Power Plants to contribute to our energy mix towards bridging our energy deficits; the production of geological maps of the entire country by 2020 on a scale of 1:100,000; as well as the sustainable integration of artisanal miners into the formal sector.
- Moreover, we are being guided by other far reaching prescriptions contained in our ‘Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Mining Industry’, which was approved in August, 2016 by the Federal Executive Council, which provides a pathway for the sustainable turnaround and growth of the mining and metals sector over the short, medium, and long term. As you may well know, Institutional Strengthening and effective sector governance is one of the major themes that run through our roadmap.
- It is therefore noteworthy that this inauguration is coming at a time we have commenced the full operationalisation of the Roadmap, as well as the implementation of the World Bank supported Mineral Diversification Project. We therefore count on the patriotic service of the new Board members to play their own part as crucial enablers in the industry, towards advancing a common vision for the revitalization of the sector.
- The entities whose boards are being reconstituted today and their respective mandates are as follows:
- The Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) established by NGSA Act 2006; to address the fundamental challenge of lack of Geosciences Data – a problem that has historically undermined the growth potentials of the sector;
- The National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NSRMEA); established to address the basic mineral raw materials needs of the Steel industries in Nigeria;
- The National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC); established by Decree 50,1992; to address the issues of mineral beneficiation and value addition research;
- The Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG); established by COMEG Act No 40, 1990, to regulate professional practice within the Sector.
- Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure at this juncture, to present to you the Chairmen of the new Boards of the agencies as follows:
- Nigerian Geological Survey Agency
Chairman: Rt. Hon. Emma Bassey
- National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency
Chairman: Dr. Yomi Finnih
- National Metallurgical Development Agency
Chairman: Barrister Sebastine Ibezim
- Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG)
Chairman: Chief Godspower Okpoi
- Following the approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and in line with relevant provisions of the respective statutes guiding the reconstitution of the boards of these entities, I hereby declare the aforementioned persons duly inaugurated and the boards duly constituted.
- This is a government that is committed to transparency and accountability in corporate governance, I must therefore emphasize that the role of the Governing boards is to provide effective oversight and strategic advisory to the respective management teams of these entities. I therefore call on all concerned to study and strictly adhere to the laid down Laws that have clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of the Board Members.
- In keeping with the law, the membership of the board is carefully drawn from seasoned administrators and eminent personalities that would inspire confidence and trust from other stakeholders they would be working with. We trust the capacities of the new boards to deliver on their respective mandates as we have no doubt that the professional pedigree of members of the Boards, their wealth of experience, and robust networks, would be brought to towards achieving desired results.
- In concluding, as you join our team, you would find that as a family, we have developed a culture of transparency, accountability and inclusion in the governance of the sector. Our fidelity remains to the people of Nigeria, as we work towards ensuring our vast God-given mineral endowments advances the sustainable growth of the country.
- I thank you for accepting to serve and wish you success in the discharge of this critical national assignment.
- Welcome on Board.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON
Minister of Mines and Steel Development
Abuja, Nigeria | Monday, March 12,