COURTESY: The Guardian Nigeria
In his opening remarks at the 6th Annual Nigeria Mining Week the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, stated that it is indisputable that the strong policy and regulatory framework that Nigeria has created diligently and methodically developed over the years is its strongest point for attracting investment.
This statement stems from the outlined theme of the conference: “The Top Seven Reasons to Invest in Nigeria’s Mining Sector.”
This year’s digital event is supported by Nigeria’s Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Miners Association of Nigeria and PwC Nigeria.
The Vice President was a welcome follow on to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite who shed some light of the excellent work ministry is doing to encourage investment into the sector.
“It focuses on what has been the major objective of all our exertions as a government in the mining sector in the past few years and that is attracting local and foreign investments,” Osinbajo stated.
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“The development of our mining sector has been an important component of our Economic Policy since 2015. What will be evident to a potential investor is that we have built a robust framework for the mining sector, line by line.
“In 2016, our Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, produced a clear Roadmap for the growth and development of the Nigerian mining sector. In pursuit of the goals set the government initiated an ambitious reform regime in the sector, the flagship of which is the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Programme (NIMEP), designed to rapidly generate geological data with the aim of de-risking the sector and attracting high calibre investments.”
Nigeria’s mining sector now features prominently in its National Development Plan 2021-2025. This plan has recently been approved by the Federal Executive Council. This follows deep consideration not just from relevant Federal officials, but also State governors and representative local government councils as well as the private sector.
“As we deepen our efforts to revitalise the mining sector, we are doing so with lessons learned from a half-century of resource extraction. We recognise, for instance, that it is not enough to seek investments merely for the sake of exploitation and extraction. Rather than writing this new chapter of economic growth, our aim is to develop local industries, generate employment, and focus on resource beneficiation to create wealth along the mineral value chain,” continued Osinbajo.
“Concurrently, there is an ongoing review of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007, aimed at bringing legislation into conformity with global best practices, limiting the role of government to that of regulation, and creating the space for the private sector to maintain a more expansive presence in the sector.”
Noteworthy projects already on show
“Early evidence that our framework is on the right track is the inflow of notable investments. These include Thor Exploration’s Segilola gold mine, in Osun State, with an initial production capacity of 80 000 oz of gold annually, representing the first large-scale gold mine in Nigeria.”
“In June last year, I also had the privilege of commissioning the Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refinery (DGPMR) project. The company set out to be the foremost indigenous refiner and trader of gold and other precious metals. Its potential impact on the gold sector is nothing short of revolutionary.”
“By providing offtake opportunities through the establishment of Precious Metals Buying Centres, it serves as a spur for more small and medium scale mining investment, while its refinery symbolises its focus on value addition in the gold and precious metals industry in Nigeria and West Africa.”
A similarly remarkable investment is the integrated iron ore mining and processing plant set up by African Natural Resources and Mines (ANRML) in Kaduna, which has an initial production capacity of 4.7 Mtpa of iron that will scale up to 5.8 Mtpa.
Revenue increase from mining already evident
“It is significant that within the space of a year, we have recorded a 26.7% increase in revenue generation from N$2.559 billion in 2019 to N$3.242 billion in 2020. While this is encouraging, we recognise that there is still a lot of work to be done.”
Sentiment for the Nigerian mining sector is extremely positive – that was evident in the responses and engagement for the audience throughout the Vice President and Mining minister’s opening keynote. Through Nigeria Mining Week Online, the intention to build momentum and interest in the country’s mining sector was delivered successfully – from the start.