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Government considers PPP to develop mining sector

By Kingsley Jeremiah and Ernest Nzor, Abuja
24 November 2021   |   4:23 am
The Federal Government may consider partnership with the private sector as part of measures to increase by five per cent, the contribution of the solid minerals sector to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025.

A mining site.

The Federal Government may consider partnership with the private sector as part of measures to increase by five per cent, the contribution of the solid minerals sector to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025.

While the sector is currently contributing 0.6 per cent, Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, had said the five per cent boost is sacrosanct as a means of diversifying the economy.

The Director General of Mining Cadastral Office, Obadiah Simon Nkom in a statement noted that closer partnership between government and the private sector remained the way to go for mining sector development.

Nkom made this call when a delegation of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry ACCI, led by the Vice President Mining, Dr. Johnson Kanayo Anene who is also the chairman, ACCI Mining Trade Group, visited the MCO in Abuja.

Nkom, in a statement by its Head of Press, Folasade Fatoke, noted that a new development within the world economy is causing a high demand for certain minerals that are available in Nigeria.

He said: “We are aware of the electric powered cars and Nigeria is blessed with such basic solid minerals that are now billed to power the world economy in the next few years.

“We need the private sector to invest and partner with the government in order to take advantage of this new and numerous opportunities and take the mining sector to the next level.”

He therefore called for intense participation of the private sector, stressing that the private sector should take advantage of this and collaborate with the government for a thriving industry.

He assured investors of a conducive business environment as provided by government’s reforms, stating that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through the ministers, has provided the enabling environment for investment to thrive in the solid minerals sector.

In his address, Dr. Anene explained that ACCI is seeking partnership with the relevant government agencies for its conference that intends to bring all stakeholders in mining together.

He also stated that: “We need to collaborate with government agencies to hold such events so as to sustain the investment drive into the sector for the benefit of all.”

Although Nigeria has huge solid mineral resources, earnings from the sector remained below par. A recent report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) had shown that Nigeria earned N79.96 billion from the solid minerals sector in 2019, representing a 15 per cent increase when compared to the N69.47 billion recorded the previous year.

In contrast, a Director, Technical, Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, Dr Dieter Bassi, had said Nigeria is losing $2bn-$3bn to illegal mining.

Anene had during the courtesy visit noted that the conference next year would support the government to drive investment into the sector through an integrated investment and policy conference with local and international partners.