By Arabinrin Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello
The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Dele Alake, recently unveiled a visionary plan to revamp Nigeria’s mining industry.
This transformation isn’t just about boosting Nigeria’s economy but also to attract foreign investors to the sector. He has laid out a seven-point agenda, including creating the Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation, forming partnerships with global mining companies, and improving data on key minerals.
Alake’s idea is to establish a corporate entity similar to the petroleum sector, dedicated to mining. This corporation will have subsidiaries focusing on essential minerals like Gold, Coal, Limestone, Bitumen, Lead, Iron-ore, and Baryte. The goal is to secure investment deals with multinational firms to bring substantial Foreign Direct Investment to the sector.
Moreover, the Solid Minerals Corporation will assist Nigerian entrepreneurs in securing funds from abroad and collaborate with the Nigerian financial system to set up a mining investment fund. The Minister highlighted Nigeria’s vast mineral reserves, including gold, manganese, bitumen, and coal, as attractive opportunities for investors.
To combat illegal mining, he plans to establish security task force and mines police, offering illegal miners a 30-day window to join legal cooperative ventures or face legal consequences. This move will regulate the sector and combat smuggling.
The Minister’s plan for the mining sector represents a vital step towards harnessing Nigeria’s mineral wealth. By creating the Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation, attracting foreign investment, and addressing illegal mining, this initiative has the potential to significantly boost Nigeria’s economy. It demonstrates a commitment to unlocking the country’s mineral wealth and it deserves to be applauded.
His efforts thus far has clearly highlighted President Bola Tinubu’s government resolve in tapping into the humongous opportunities that mining sector can offer Nigeria in the development of her economy in all ramification including but not limited to employment generation.
Dr. Dele Alake’s effort showcases a clear vision for the mining sector’s future, one that can lead to increased economic prosperity and job opportunities for Nigerians. The emphasis on attracting foreign investment and regulating the industry through the Mines Surveillance Security Task Force reflects a proactive approach to achieving these goals. With these measures in place, the mining sector may indeed become a major contributor to Nigeria’s GDP.
_Arabinrin Aderonke, an award-winning investigative journalist, served as a member of the Media and Publicity Committee/Contact and Mobilization committees of the Presidential Campaign Council 2023, and representative of the President-Elect in the Media and Publicity Sub-Commitee of Presidential Transition Council, 2023. A gender, peace and good governance advocate. She writes from Abuja._