The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said on Monday solid minerals sector has the potential to drive Nigeria’s quest for industrialization.
Adegbite, who stated this while delivering his keynote address at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group webinar, added that the following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy and fall in crude oil price in the international market, solid minerals provides the country with alternative source of revenue at all levels of government.
He said: “Today many countries that were behind us have become attractive mining jurisdictions such as Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso. A few others have become highly industrialized nations after they leveraged their mining industries such as Australia, Canada, Finland, and Sweden.
“We need to take advantage of the immense opportunities associated with the mining industry to industrialize our nation. There is no doubt that the mining industry is going to become more important to the future of the world which is moving towards digitization and automation.
“Minerals constitute a large portion of the inputs used in the production of mobile phones, laptops, ICT gadgets, batteries, solar panels. Although COVID-19 has had an impact on the battery and electronics market in the short term, the recovery projections are most likely positive in the medium term.
“Within Nigeria, our huge infrastructure deficit can be addressed by sourcing and utilizing our domestic raw material inputs from the mining industry.
“Our local industries also need to stop importing many inputs that are readily available from our mining industry. Regardless of the pandemic and looming global and national economic crisis, Nigeria cannot afford to overlook the opportunities in the global and domestic mining industry.
“This is why there is a strong political will by the government to diversify the economy through mining so that Nigeria is adequately prepared to harness the opportunities.
“Ongoing reforms underpinned by the roadmap for the growth and development of the Nigerian mining industry approved in 2017 are geared towards rebuilding the sector and unlocking its full potentials.
“The vision is to build a globally competitive minerals and mining ecosystem and elated processing industries capable of contributing to wealth creation, providing jobs, and advancing social and human security.”
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