Ayoola Olukanni, the director-general, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), on Wednesday called for full implementation of the roadmap on mining and steel development, saying it would guarantee the achievement of sustainable mining goals and economic diversification efforts.
The roadmap, he said, had identified seven key minerals, iron ore, coal, bitumen, limestone, lead/zinc, gol and barite, toward achieving sustainable mineral production.
He believes the implementation will deepen exploitation in the solid minerals sector, contributing at least three percent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030, according to a report monitored by business a.m.
“The mining sector used to contribute not less than four percent to the GDP of the economy until we struck oil and then was abandoned. The indigenisation decree of 1972 also forced a lot of foreigners to sell their shares and unfortunately, most Nigerians could not fill the gap as mining is capital and technology intensive. In the past, efforts were made as the sector received some funding to revive it under what is called the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP),” he said.
He also stressed the need to add value to solid minerals before exporting them to other countries, noting it could be more beneficial to the country than going raw.
The director-general, however, noted that to become a mining nation, the right laws and regulations must be installed and constantly reviewed to encourage investors.
He said that before the Mining Act of 2007, it was shocking to discover that some of the mining laws by which Nigeria operated dated back to 1892.
According to the Nigeria Mining Roadmap, reforming the mining sector into a globally competitive sector in the extractive and related processing industries will take three phases between 2016 and 2030.
The first phase will run from 2016 to 2018, in which the mining sector will be stabilised to rebuild market confidence.
Phase two will run from 2018 to 2020, with the aim to establish Nigeria as a competitive African mining and mineral processing centre, while Phase 3 will run from 2020 to 2030 to see Nigeria compete selectively in the global market for refined metals and minerals for exports.
A Mining Implementation and Strategy Team (MIST) has been recommended to coordinate the roadmap team and ensure continuity.
The sector presently contributes between 0.3 and 0.11 percent to the country’s GDP.