Minister of Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite has expressed readiness to partner with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), to ensure the repositioning of the mineral industry geared towards achieving the economic diversification policy of the present administration.
The Minister spoke of the need for the collaboration when he received UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub, Jean Bakole, who paid him a courtesy visit at his office in Abuja on Thursday, 26th September, describing the visit as timely noting that the organisation’s Country Programme 2018-2022 would assist the Ministry to develop the sector for growth and profitability.
Adegbite commended UNIDO for its assistance in addressing challenges in the sector. He said the relationship between the Ministry and UNIDO will be strengthen further towards addressing the challenges in the solid mining industry, especially organising artisanal miners into cooperatives, enhancing their capacity, providing them with logistics and equipment to boost their standard of operation that would add value to their products.
Other identified areas of support are creation of platform to educate artisanal miners on safe mining practices, provision of industrial parks and economic zones round mining locations that would serve as information resort to miners on beneficiation fair business transactions, which will enhance the revenue generation to both operators and government.
Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of State, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, appreciated the existing collaboration between UNIDO and the Ministry, its support, especially in managing lead poisoning occurrence in some communities in the country and funding of some artisanal mining projects.
He said the ministry looks forward to more cordial relationship that will take the Ministry to the next level that would pave way to effective, efficient and productive solid mining industry that will enrich the economy and change the narrative of the country.
Earlier In his address, Mr. Bakole, said the purpose of their visit was to reaffirm UNIDO relationship with Nigeria and to build on the existing synergy towards the development of on-going UNIDO assisted projects in the country.
Furthermore, he added that it was seeks ways UNIDO can assist in the solid minerals mining sector, noting that the sector is key in the economic diversification plan.
He outlined the overview of the country programme 2018 – 2022 designed to fast track industrial growth in Nigeria. The Plan with nine components include institutional governance, Agro industry and Agro-business, minerals and metals, trade and capacity building, micro and small medium scale entrepreneur, among others.