In a bid to make the mining sector deliver on its responsibility of repositioning the economy, the Federal Government has secured $150 million loan from the World Bank to develop the sector.
Besides, the Ministry of Mines & Steel Development (MMSD) said it has also handled the issue of low funding through the N30 billion Intervention Fund meant for exploration to help sectorial growth.
Speaking at a programme organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Lagos, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, said the Ministry has undertaken far reaching re- forms and developed strategies to fulfil its mandate, having been identified as a sector to facilitate the Federal Government’s diversification efforts and source of additional revenue.
He said the mandate given to the ministry was to increase the revenue generation from the sector, broad- en the sector’s capacity to create jobs, and implement policies that will engender sustainable mining.
He said the observed dis- jointed development of the nation’s various mineral resources has led to the identification of seven strategic minerals out of over 40.
He stated: “These seven strategic minerals (gold, iron ore, coal, lead/zinc, bitumen, limestone and barytes ) are receiving focused attention, which looks at their development through their various value chains to achieve specific national goal. “An example of this initiative is the iron ore value chain activities through the backward integration initiative. The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment pursued this initiative since 2013 in order to achieve the objective of the National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).” He noted that the ministry, in an effort to implement its mandates, has developed a roadmap for the growth and development of the sector which has made its contribution to GDP to improve from 0.03 per cent to 0.6 per cent in 2016.
According to him, the revenue generation also improved from N2.08 billion in 2015 to N3.92 billion in 2017 and N2.97 billion as at October 2018.
He added: “The Mining Cadastral Office recorded limestone as highest royalty payments of N5.2 billion through processing fees and other licensing fees.
“Retrieved the old Geological Data of Aeromagnetic Survey Data of the country from Fugro, which Nigerian Geological Survey Agency is already using to explore for strategic minerals.”