Samuel Bello, Abuja
The Federal Government has earned at least N1.2 trillion from private investors for mining projects.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, disclosed this at the just concluded Africa Down Under 2018 Conference on a topic titled ‘A New Dawn in Nigerian Mining Sector’ in Australia.
He said due to the current administration’s commitment to growing the solid minerals and mining sector, leading to the leverage of about $3.32 billion private investments into mining projects as provided in the ERGP focused lab, Nigeria is today ranked amongst the most conducive environments to do mining business.
According to the minister, “private investments into mining projects covering gold mining and refining, foundry works, lead/zinc exploration and production, tin and Columbite mining and processing among others have experienced unprecedented leap in production.
In a related development, speaking at the Nigeria Metallurgical stakeholders forum in Abuja, Bwari advised local and foreign investors to explore the country’s mining potentials and tap into the lucrative investment opportunities in the metal sector.
He added that the critical role of metallurgy in the overall development of the country cannot be over emphasized, thus the need to reposition the metal sector to accomplish a variety of the current administration’s policy objectives.
According to Bwari, collaborating with investors would bring the exploitation of the abundant metal ore deposits and associated minerals to meet both local and foreign demands. It would also spring up economic activities in downstream metallurgical industries and the mineral sector of the national economy.
He said, “unfavorable and sometimes inconsistent fiscal policies have since closed down several private metallurgical and allied plants in the country. We are determined to pursue a vigorous metal industry because of the enormous impact it can have on other sectors of the economy and the prospects that a vibrant metal industry holds for Nigeria.
“These opportunities exist in both the upstream and downstream sectors and have remained largely untapped by investors. It will not only increase our foreign exchange earnings and sustenance, increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create job opportunities, it will also engender the acquisition of technical skills leading to technology transfer to Nigerians.