By John Okeke
The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, in its efforts and determination to develop and grow the sector and use it as an alternative source of revenue generation for the country, is collaborating with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) for funds mobilization to boost exploration in the sector.
Minister of State Mines and Steel Development Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah made this known when a delegation of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), led by the Director General, Dr. Lamido Yuguda paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry’s Headquarters on Thursday 27th May, 2021 in Abuja.
The Minister who said the collaboration between the Ministry and SEC was long overdue, stated that the sector is highly capital intensive. He noted that funding exploration projects has been a challenge in the industry.
He however revealed that the Federal Government in a view to supporting the sector started the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP) which is aimed at carrying out integrated exploration to derisk the mining sector and provide geoscience data.
Equally, Federal Government has initiated the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative, PAGMI from which the Ministry has presented the first locally sourced Gold Bar to the President, with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, as off-taker.
Dr. Ogah disclosed that having an organised funding window like the Commodity Exchange Platform could provide a great support for the mineral and mining sector, especially in the areas of funding and commodity trade.
He assured of the Ministry’s participation in the Commission’s forthcoming webinar and enjoined the Commission to avail the Ministry with all necessary information it would need to fully participate at the event.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. (Mrs) Oluwatoyin Akinlade stated that the synergy is a milestone as it would help the Ministry to get funds and achieve its mandate of exploration. Adding that Solid Minerals is the way to go for the future.
Earlier, the Director General (SEC) Dr Lamido Yuguda who’s visit was to discuss areas of collaboration, expressed the Commission’s preparedness in assising the Ministry in resolving some of the challenges faced in the Solid Minerals Sector through Commodities Exchanges.
He disclosed further that as part of measures to contribute to the growth of the sector, the Commission is planning a webinar that would bring together stakeholders in the mining and solid minerals sector and the commodities exchanges ecosystem to look at ways to enhance the value the commodities exchanges could bring to the sector.