Minister’s Speech at the Inception Meeting and Presentation by Contractors of the MMSD Integrated Exploration Projects Under Natural Resources Fund

Protocols and Introduction

I am delighted to address this distinguished gathering of exploration experts and to congratulate you all for being part of our efforts to develop the solid minerals sector.

  1. As you all know, projects of these nature are mostly private sector driven, but because government is determined to make Mining one of the arrow heads of its diversification drive, we decided to embark on this exploration project to generate the sort of critical information that can spur investment in the sector.
  2. The key objective of these exploration projects therefore is to rapidly generate integrated Geosciences information in Greenfield and Brownfield settings. This will not only make our resources more attractive, but go a long way in helping us achieve our mandate which includes: increasing the sector’s contribution to the GDP, generating employment for the teeming mass of our youth and creating wealth along the mineral value chain.
  3. It is in fulfilment of these that the Federal Government flagged off this project in September and subsequently set up a 7-man ministerial committee to implement and monitor it. The committee was given the mandate to ensure strict compliance with the Terms of Reference, oversee the implementation and management of technical aspects of the projects and assist in removing any bureaucratic bottle-necks that may arise. The committee is also mandated to liaise with the ministry to ensure timely release of funds, in line with the levels of job completion and contract agreement
  4. It may interest you to know that this project is the first of its kind in the country and is designed along typical exploration phases with time-bound deliverables. This inception meeting is therefore one of a series of meetings we will be having to examine the outcomes of each phase for wider stakeholders participation.
  5. Today’s event is therefore meant to present the outputs of the deskwork studies done by the contractors before they resume field work. This certainly marks a milestone in the execution of these projects and I must congratulate you all for coming this far despite the challenges. May I use this forum to assure investors that we are determined to derisk the sector by helping interested investors to generate the sort of data that will add value to our mineral deposits.
  6. This is in continuation of our efforts to make Nigeria a mining nation once again by revamping the sector to make it more competitive with other developed mining jurisdictions in the world. This event is further proof that under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria has discovered the political will to reposition the country by growing other sectors of the economy to broaden the range of opportunities available to Nigerians.
  7. This integrated exploration project embarked upon by the Ministry under the Natural Resource Fund could therefore not have come at a better time than now when the world is becoming interested in our mining endowments once again. We must therefore continue to do all we can to ensure that we make the sector more attractive for investors.
  8. Let me allay the fears of title holders and other stakeholders whose titles fall within the project area that their interests will be fully protected as the results of the exploration will further enrich their properties. We are therefore soliciting for their kind cooperation to make this exploration programme a success.
  9. Finally, let me again congratulate you for winning the contracts and welcome you once more to the MMSD family. I urge you to adhere strictly to the job specifications and contractual agreements as stipulated in the terms of engagement.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to flag off this next phase of the MMSD exploration projects and wish you all success.

Thank you for listening.

Alh. Abubakar Bawa Bwari,

Minister of Mines and Steel Development

Abuja, Nigeria | Tuesday, December 4th, 2018