President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged the Federal Government’s continued commitment to providing support for the mining sector for it to achieve the transformational leap it requires to contribute meaningfully to the envisioned economic growth of the country, increase export earnings and create good-paying job opportunities for Nigerians.

The President, who was represented by Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, made the disclosure while declaring open the 6th Edition of the Nigeria Mining Week at the International Conference Centre, on Thursday, 1st November 2022 in Abuja.

According to him, the present administration intentionally prioritized the development of the country’s mineral resources as one of the frontiers for economic growth which led to the development of a comprehensive Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Sector, noting that the government has steadily followed the steps set out in the roadmap and ensured the availability of needed funds. He said, “So far, we can say without fear of contradiction, that this administration has committed more resources to the development of the mining sector than any other government in the history of this country’.

The Vice President stated that the indices of the rapid development in the sector are shown in the increased revenue generation and the unprecedented investment interest the industry has attracted in the past few years, saying the government will continue to intensify its regulatory and supervisory role in ensuring that mining is done in the highest standards of sustainable development and intergenerational equity.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan who was represented by Sen. Tanko Al-makura Chairman, Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy while disclosing that a Bill for the establishment of Nigeria Mining Company was before the Senate, expressed satisfaction to be part of the Annual Mining Week which is geared towards creating awareness and affording stakeholders the opportunity to reflect on mining as a key segment of the economy. He enjoined participants to explore the possibilities the event provides.

In his address, the Minister, of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to reposition the mining sector to become one of the frontiers to sustainable economic growth, rejuvenate the sector to be globally competitive and capable of contributing to wealth creation, providing jobs and support to industrialization in a conducive environmental and social ecosystem.

Enumerating the achievements to include, the Up-grade and Automation of the Mining Cadastre Office and the creation of Zonal Offices in all the Geopolitical zones; the Generation of Geological and Exploration Data to improve investment competitiveness; Advancing the formalization of information of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining operations which constitute over 80% of Nigeria mining and the construction of Mining-related Clusters in the six geopolitical zones, he emphasized the Ministry’s commitment to intensify efforts to work to make the nation’s mining sector more competitive in the global mining space as well as prioritize the development of critical minerals required in clean energy transition and reduction in greenhouse permission to zero.

In his address, the Acting National President, Miners Association of Nigeria, Alh. Musa Muhammad disclosed that the Nigeria Mining Week has provided a platform for a wholesome critique of the national mining ecosystem by identifying the challenges, stages of development, the potentials in the sector, emerging opportunities, and the ways forward, stating that through this forum, notable developmental strides have been achieved, driven by the Regulatory Ministry and its Agencies.

Also, Cyril Azobu, Partner and Mining Industry Leader, PwC Nigeria, stated that Nigeria Mining Week remains the one event shaping the Nigerian mining landscape with its vast and untapped exploration opportunities with widespread project development. He noted that Nigeria remains the investment destination of the first choice for discerning mining companies and investors.

Earlier, Samukelo Madlabane, Event Director of Nigeria Mining Week, noted that Nigeria is home to vast and plentiful mineral deposits of gold, coal, iron ore, lead, limestone, tin, lithium, cobalt, and zinc which when fully harnessed could diversify the economy, drive the construction of new infrastructure projects and increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He encouraged participants to visit the exhibition area and source all the solutions they may need for their mining activities.

The 3-day event will be robust as it would feature exhibitions, networking, interactions, sideline discussions, insightful deliberations as well as fruitful deal-making.