By John Okeke
To ensure it achieves its mandate of diversifying the economy and growing the Gross Domestic Product of the country, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has pledged its commitment to support the development of Mineral Resources that abound in Kaduna State.
This was contained in a statement by Ministry’s Press department and signed by Tine-Iulun M.A for the Head and Public Relation Unit.
The Minister of State Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah made this pledge during his address at the 2021 Kaduna State Economic and Investment Summt, Kadinvest, with the theme “Towards sustainable. knowledge-based Economy” on Friday, 24th September, 2021
He stated that the Ministry has key agencies in Kaduna State, like the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency & National Steel Raw Materials Exploration for generation of geoscience data on minerals of interest and the Mining Cadastre Office for title acquisition and administration, saying “I am confident that reliable information from these Agencies on the Minerals and Metal sector will guide prospective investors in making knowledge-based decisions”
The Minister disclosed that the Federal Government through NGSA has generated preliminary geoscience data that can guide would be investors on the proper identification of “hot spot” areas for detailed exploration across Kaduna State. Adding that mining is an information-based investment and such credible geoscience information will definitely attract serious mining investments into the State.
Dr Ogah who noted that Kaduna is strategically located in the mineral map of Nigeria, stated that the State is endowed with a lot of solid minerals, especially minerals of the future, enjoined prospective investors to liaise with the relevant Agencies of the Ministry of Mines and Steel development for necessary information to guide them in making their investment decisions.
He commended the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai for keying into Mr. President’s vision of diversifying the Nigerian economy through the Agricultural and Minerals sectors, saying the initiative would attract investors to the country and the state in particular.
Speaking, Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai disclosed that the state government has attracted $2.8 billion investments and created about 100,000 direct and indirect jobs since the inception of Kadinvest in 2016 as well as risen from 14th to 4th position in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) realising N50.7 billion in 2020.
He revealed that the state has signed an agreement with Arla of Denmark to build a ranch that would settle 1,000 Fulani herders and their families with all facilities; grass, water, schools, hospitals at the cost of N12 billion. N8 billion is from CBN and N2 billion from Kaduna state. Arla will contribute €5 million.
“Governor El-Rufai while noting that more than 80% of its population are below 65 years and most of them live in the urban centers of Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan, said the state needed jobs and infrastructural investment. We are investing N80 billion on massive road infrastructure in Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan,” el-Rufai said.
In his remarks, His Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi II, and Vice Chairman, Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency KADIPA, noted that Kaduna State Government’s initiative to think ahead by initiating the Kadinvest will attract foreign investors as well as reduce poverty and increase per capita income of the State.
He disclosed that the commitment of the State Government in ensuring a knowledge based economy to meet the current realities has resulted in Kaduna State being the pilot State of the MTN Education programme which aims at improving the quality of education.