By John Okeke
The Minister of State, for Mines and Steel Development, Hon Abubakar Bawa Bwari has pledged Federal Government’s support to every effort geared towards the enhancement of the mining sector in the country by the stakeholders.
Bwari said this in Abuja yesterday during his ministerial address at the 3rd Nigeria Mining Week, organised by the Miners Association of Nigeria, the umbrella body of miners in Nigeria, in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Spintelligent.
He said: “As part of a deliberate policy in our Roadmap, the Ministry is committed to supporting this kind of collaborative efforts which seek to promote the mining industry by promoting networking among stakeholders, improving the knowledge assets needed to sustain key reforms in the sector, and using an innovative array of workshops and roundtable to help participants find prospective partners or collaborators. Above all, the Mining Week seeks to repositioning the mining sector as one of the frontiers of our economic diversification, in line with the Federal Government’s agenda.
“I must, therefore, congratulate the Miners Association and other collaborators for sustaining the growing interest in this event every year,” he said.
The Minister said the efforts of the present administration led by President Muhammad Buhari to find alternative sources of wealth creation by developing the mineral resources of our country has led to a number of innovations in the sector.
He said: “We have strengthened our policy and institutional frameworks for investors in the minerals sector and daily it gets easier to do mining business in Nigeria.
“The government has released funds from the dedicated Natural Resources Development Fund for the generation and provision of necessary geosciences data to attract investors. Indeed, five exploration works contracts and consulting services for gold and platinum group metals; Rare Earth Metals; Base Metals; Barytes; and Iron Ore, were recently awarded through competitive bidding to carry out resource mapping for potential mineral prospects.
“In a similar development, the Electro-magnetic survey data for three highly prospective gold and lead zinc zones have also been acquired and are available for interested investors,” he said.
“The future of mining in Nigeria is very bright indeed and there is no better time to invest in this sector than now,” he added.