The mining sector would provide over 300,000 jobs and millions of indirect employment for Nigerians before the end of the year, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said.
He disclosed this at maiden Nigeria Mining Week, organised by Miners Association of Nigeria, in partnership with Dolf Madi Consulting in Abuja.
Represented by Minister of State, Bawa Bwari, he maintained that the guiding principle in the mining sector is to re-position the sector to achieve the mandate of increasing contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and deliver shared prosperity to stakeholders.
He noted that the mining sector roadmap would provide a pathway for sustainable turnaround and growth of mining and metal sectors over the short, medium and long term, hoping the conference would address some of the priority areas of the document.
“Yes, there are quick-win in the industry which we have already started achieving. The debate continues on how we missed the opportunities in the past to leverage the vast resources to industrialize and become a great nation”, he said.
According to the Minister: “We have since 1999 begun to find our way out of the woods and the sector is witnessing some positive development and we are building on the efforts already established by ministerial predecessors.”
He, therefore, argued that government, as an administrator-regulator in partnership with private sector would embark on reforms of existing Acts supporting body of regulation designed to give Nigeria a competitive legal and framework for the sector.
On actions so far taken to fine-tune the sector, he said government has identified key challenges hindering the mining sector from significantly contributing to GDP and outlined strategies with timelines to tackle them.
He revealed that arrangements would soon be concluded to sign a memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria Geological Survey Agency and its Chinese counterpart on a geosciences data generation programme.
“This is in addition to the formalization and extension services being rendered by artisanal and small scale mining department of the
Ministry for the purpose of making artisanal operations safer and sustainable in the country,” he added.