In a compelling address at the Mines & Money Conference, Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake, unveiled a series of commitments aimed at attracting foreign mining investors to the country.
Dr. Alake emphasized the Nigerian government’s dedication to facilitating business transactions by eliminating red tape and enhancing the security of mining operations.
The Minister’s 15-minute speech highlighted the unique advantages of investing in Nigeria, including lower production costs due to surface mining and the vast untapped mineral resources worth billions of dollars.
Special Adviser to the Minister, Kehinde Bamigbetan, echoed the call in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
Citing recent reports by audit firm KPMG, Dr. Alake underscored the positive trajectory of the mining sector, with its contribution to Nigeria’s GDP rising from 0.3 percent to 0.85 percent last year, reflecting a notable 0.63 percent year-on-year growth.
“The country’s geological bounty encompasses over 44 distinct mineral types, found in exploitable quantities across more than 500 locations,” noted Dr. Alake. He also highlighted the inclusion of Lithium as a crucial strategic mineral, responding to evolving global trends.
Dr. Alake outlined reforms initiated by the administration of President Bola Tinubu to streamline procedures and reduce hurdles, making Nigeria an attractive destination for foreign investors.
He showcased recent advancements, including data from the Airborne Geophysical Survey, a memorandum of understanding with German firm Geoscan, and access to finance through a new funding facility launched by the Africa Finance Corporation and the Solid Minerals Development Fund.
Emphasizing the commitment to community development, Dr. Alake reminded the global mining community of Nigeria’s policies ensuring that mining operations benefit local communities and lead to value addition rather than wholesale export of raw minerals.
“Nigeria is currently emphasizing Solid Minerals Beneficiation and Value-Addition as a panacea for quick and sustainable growth of the Mining Industry,” he stated.
Dr. Alake urged investors to support socio-economic development in mining communities, referencing the recently launched revised guidelines for Community Development Agreements, encompassing social amenities, educational support, health, safety, and environmental facilities.