The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has reiterated government’s determination to improve its engagement with State governments and stakeholders in the minerals and mining sector to achieve full potentials of the industry for wealth creation and employment.

The Minister stated this at the opening ceremony of the 53rd Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Mining and GeosciencesSociety (NMGS) in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Dr Fayemi said there was need to partner with states particularly around financial participation, revenue sharing and recognising the oversight on the part of Federal Government.

“The new roadmap for the sector already dwells on this and States are being taken into consideration- ranging from the establishment of the Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development to the extension of derivation principle of 13% to mineral resources extraction at the state level” he added.

The Minister noted that in line with the initiative, the Ministry commenced a nationwide tour of mining sites and meeting with stakeholders starting with Kaduna, Lagos and Ogun States. He said that the essence of the tour was to ensure that all parties recognise their social responsibilities. “The Ministry is working to attract a diverse portfolio of participants from artisanal miners to junior explorers to mining majors into the industry.”, he added.

Earlier, the President of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society, Prof. Olugbenga Okunlola, noted that the society in its 56th year of existence has assisted the government and the private sector in policy formulation and execution, intellectual contribution in the sphere of mining, oil and gas, water and mineral processing, training and skills acquisition engagement.

He said the society has also organised programs, lectures, workshops, short trainings, direct and indirect engagement in the extractive industry, adding that the extractive industry produce the wealth of the nation.

Prof. Okunlola commended the efforts of the present government in truly emphasising the importance of the extractive sector in the economic revival of Nigeria and the inclusion of members of the society in policy formulation and implementation. He said a lot of responsibilities rest on the professionals as the expectation is high and it is time for them to prove that they are capable.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, alongside some prominent Nigerians were conferred with Honorary Fellows of the Society.