The Federal Government has tasked investors in the United Kingdom (UK) to consider investing in Nigeria’s mineral and mining sector, as it features attractive incentives and potentials. The call was made by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite during the “Nigeria Beyond Oil” conference held in the UK.
The Minister, who was the chief host at the event, made it known that before President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, there were lots of challenges and neglect in the mining sector. However, since the commencement of the present administration, efforts have been made to revive the sector so that it could contribute as much as 5.6% to the national GDP like it did in the 1980s.
Adegbite said the present administration recognises mining as a strategic income stream in the face of dwindling oil revenue. He said he looked forward to increasing its contribution to the national GDP by 3% in the year 2025.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration met serious challenges in the mining sector occasioned by long neglect. It was apparent that we must re-enact the ‘Nigeria before oil’ policies when the sector contributed as much as 5.6% in 1980 to the national GDP.
“Our approach to the enactment of a ‘Nigeria Beyond Oil’ era is holistic, the integrated method involves the development of the necessary infrastructure to support the mines and mining communities.
“We are working assiduously to ensure the development of a Central Corridor around the steel development complex, this includes the provision and upgrading of the railway network to link Abuja to the mineral centres and ports for easy evacuation of minerals resource and products,” he stated.
Speaking further, he encouraged participants at the conference to invest, as he said that the Nigerian government was determined to protect direct foreign investments as indicated in the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act 2007.
“Our focus is now on de-risking the sector, by the provision of more up-to-date and comprehensive data on mineral occurrences in Nigeria and enabling a more investor-friendly environment through favourable incentives,” he said.