The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development is expecting an influx of foreign mining investors this year, to stimulate Nigeria’s economic growth.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, made the announcement in Abuja on Sunday.
Adegbite was speaking at a special forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that the ministry had conducted a lot of foreign and marketing campaigns in different countries, including South Africa, Australia, London and Canada.
According to him, the countries are the major mining nations of the world.
He lamented that if not for the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria would have witnessed an influx of foreign investors in 2020.
“We are still awaiting this.”
Adegbite said that the Federal Government had given the ministry a mandate to diversify the economy through the mining sector.
He said that the ministry was also mandated to generate employment and to increase the nation’s revenue base, especially with oil and gas becoming less popular.
Adegbite said that in line with the mandate, the ministry had been engaging in different ways to attract the right investors into the mining sector.
He said that the ministry had also targeted specific programmes, where people converged to market Nigeria’s solid minerals potential.
“Government has put in a lot of money because mining is all about exploration. You need to find out what you have before you can market it.
“The Nigerian government invested about N15 billion in 2018 for intervention programme before I assumed duty to boost the sector.
“That programme was slowed down by COVID-19 and work could not go on.
“But fantastic new discoveries have been made under the programme because with the data so acquired, we have been marketing Nigeria all over the world.”
The minister reiterated government’s commitment to attracting more investments in the sector for economic growth.