The development of the mining sector has been referred to as the key to rapid industrialization and diversification of the Nigeria economy.
This was the position of the Permanent Secretary, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdulkadri Mu’azu who was represented by the Director Planning Research and Statistics (PRS) in the Ministry, Abba Isawa, mni today (2/10/18) at the 2nd Meeting of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development (NCMMRD) holding at the Hotel Seventeen, Kaduna.
The Council Meeting with the theme – ‘’Mineral and Metals Sector: Frontier for National Economic Diversification’’ which was declared open by Secretary to the Kaduna State Government, Alhaji Balarabe Abbas, had captains and stakeholders in the mining sector in attendance.
Mu’azu said the Council meeting as an annual institutionalized event, is meant to provide an avenue for key stakeholders to meet, brainstorm, strategize, and initiate the formulation of desired policies aimed at proffering solutions to the challenges facing the mining, minerals and steel sector.
“The Federal and State Governments are critical Stakeholders as they work hand-in-hand along with other stakeholders and development partners to address issues facing the sector; mostly on informal mining; poor mining governance; revenue generation and value chain activities in the sector for economic and social growth”, he emphasized.
He informed participants that mining sector has recorded modest and encouraging progress since the last Council Meeting which was held in Abuja from 12th – 14th September, 2017. He noted that the Council as a national platform, had succeeded in evolving and sustaining stakeholder engagements under the coordination of the Ministry.
The Permanent Secretary cited the successes recorded after the last meeting of NCMMRD to include; improved funding, extensive geo-sciences data generation; development of a National Gold Policy to enhance and refine Nigeria’s gold to curtail smuggling; building a collaborative security framework with State Governments to minimize illegal mining activities among others.
The Permanent Secretary stressed that, “the technical session will thoroughly analyze, discuss and come up with implementable blueprint based on realistic strategy for the sustainable development of the sector”.
He urged participants to see the on-going Council meeting of NCMMRD as a veritable leap towards implementing the Federal Government policy of diversifying the economy for faster and sustainable development of the national economy. He added that the young fledgling mining sector must be nurtured to provide added impetus to the national economic dream.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Kaduna State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Alhaji Mohammed Mahmud Shuaibu said the Council Meeting was very timely as it imbued hope at a period the current administration is working assiduously to move the country away from a mono-economic dependence.
He opined that the ripple effect of the progress recorded during the 1st meeting of NCMMRD and the on-going 2nd meeting would positively impact the nation at large.
Alhaji Shuaibu held that the mining sector should significantly contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as he believed that the 10% target set for the sector’s contribution by the Federal Government is achievable.
The Director General, Mining Cadastral Office (MCO), Engr. Mohammed Amate, in his paper titled; ‘Overview of the Mining Metals Sector’ and delivered by the Director General, National Steel and Raw Materials Exploration Agency(NSRMEA), Kaduna, Engr. Hassan Umar said the activities in the Mining and Metals Sector are witnessing significant improvements arising from government’s support that has facilitated increased interest in the sector.
He however listed the major drawbacks of the sector to include; Interference from State Governments arising from the need to increase IGR (Multiple Taxation); mining operators’ failure to report accurate production and export figures; challenges of funding leading to poor exploration activities by mineral title holders.
The 2nd meeting of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development which started today, Tuesday October 2, 2018 will end on Thursday October 4, 2018.