From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, has stated that Nigeria is blessed with over 44 minerals in commercial value which can lead to the industrialisation of Africa.
The minister made this disclosure when he received a delegation of the National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area, (AfCFTA) led by its Secretary, Francis Anatogu, at the ministry’s Headqusrters in Abuja recently.
Ogah, who was appointed the mining champion by the Chairman, National Action Committee on AfCFTA and Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, tasked African countries to synergize, especially in the Mining Sector to boost economic growth and industrialisation of the continent.
He added that the ministry is working at ensuring that no mineral is taken out of the country without proper beneficiation in order to improve and increase the economic value of these minerals to meet international stanadrds for the benefit of the miners.
The minister stated further that the ministry is determined to use the sector as a tool for job and wealth creation, in line with the Buhari administration’s agenda, and provide opportunities for Africans to be empowered.
He also revealed that the ministry is looking at creating a project, “Mines to Power” which would be aimed at providing sustainable power to drive mining activities at the sites. Adding that access to energy, especially electricity, is a driving force for economic development.
Earlier, the Secretary, National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area, (AfCFTA), Francis Anatogu, stated that African nations should leverage on the benefits of AfCFTA to increase the economic growth in Africa.
He added that the AfCFTA is willing to align with the vision of the ministry’s Mining Road Map and noted that mining employs people with zero education to those with PHDs, adding that the sector has the capacity to solve the unemployment problem in many African countries.