Why mining sector remains underdeveloped, by stakeholders
• Seek paradigm shift as contribution to GDP shrinks
Years after mining activities started in the country, stakeholders yesterday, in Abuja, offered explanations on the slow pace of Nigeria’s solid mineral and mining sector, and continuous decline of the sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
The stakeholders, who included heads of government agencies from related federal ministries, vice chancellors of Universities, industry players and others, noted that the sector is fraught with challenges of bureaucracy, regulatory framework, institution, oversight and technical structure, lack of best practices and lack of data.
Speaking at the launch of a report, conducted by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), its Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio, decried the decline of the sector’s contribution to GDP to 0.5 per cent after hitting 12.1 per cent in the 70s.
Although mining activities in Nigeria started formally around 1902, in the Southern and Northern protectorates respectively, but the sector has remained underdeveloped many years after.
Adio linked the underdevelopment to governance and transparency challenges, noting that NEITI will complement government’s efforts with necessary assistance aimed at overhauling the sector.
Similarly, members of the academia were worried about illegal mining, lack of protection for miners, and the dichotomy between the federal and state government.
Experts, including a professor of geology at the University of Ibadan, Gbenda Okunlola; Vice Chancellor, Umar Musa Yar’Adua University, Prof. Idris Funtua; and President, Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), Prof. Silas Dada, expressed concern over the lack of investment into the sector.
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