A fully developed mines and steel sector will not only surpass other sectors of the economy in terms of export earnings, it will also create more lucrative jobs and opportunities for many Nigerians, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Osinbajo stated this at the opening of the 6th Edition of the Nigerian Mining Week in Abuja, where he represented President Muhammadu Buhari as the Special Guest of Honour.
He said the steel sector “will stimulate industrial growth as a local source of raw materials and improve the quality of lives in rural communities.
Assuring of government’s commitment to support mining activities towards shared prosperity for the Nigerian people, the VP observed that the event was “a very significant complement to our vision and sustained effort to accelerate the growth of the mining sector as a major contributor to Nigeria’s economic diversification programme.”
“This is why the Federal Government will continue to intensify its regulatory and supervisory role in ensuring that mining is held to the highest standards of sustainable development and intergenerational equity,” the VP added.
Osinbajo observed that “the mining sector has always needed a transformational leap to contribute meaningfully to the envisioned economic growth of the country, because, despite the glorious contribution of the mining sector to our national economy in the past and the abundance of mineral resources found in almost every state of the Federation, the growth of the sector stagnated for many years especially since the early 1970s. And there have been many notable efforts by previous administrations to wake up the sleeping giant that is the mining industry.”
Speaking further, he added that the Buhari administration’s commitment towards developing the country’s steel sector has continued to record significant gains over the years.
“We are proud that the indices of development in the sector are rapidly changing. Part of these is the increased revenue generation and, of course, the unprecedented investment interest that the industry has attracted in the past few years.
“Nigeria, for the first time, has a world-class gold mine in Segilola, Osun State, operated by Thor Exploration, while Eta Zuma Mining and Industries Limited and Mosra Enerji Limited are mining and supplying the coal needs of Dangote and Bua Cement factories.”
“In the steel industry, African Natural Resources and Mines limited, owners of the Kagarko Integrated Steel plant, is about to produce liquid steel from its iron ore mine in Kaduna State.
“Several other investors are at different stages of mine development in various parts of the country, and these strategic milestones will hopefully catalyse more mining investment in the country.”