FG gives ultimatum to illegal miners, targets 50% GDP contribution
• To establish solid minerals corporation
Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr. Dele Alake, yesterday, said the ministry will add 50 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country, even as he announced reforms, including a 30-day grace for illegal miners to join artisanal cooperatives.
The minister disclosed this in Abuja, during the unveiling of ‘Agenda for Transformation of Solid Minerals for International Competitiveness and Domestic Prosperity’.
Alake said the ministry will focus on a seven-point agenda, including creation of the Nigerian solid minerals corporation, joint ventures with mining multinationals, big data on specific seven priority minerals and their deposits, 30-day grace for illegal miners to join artisanal cooperatives, mines surveillance task force and mines police, comprehensive review of all mining licenses, and creation of six mineral processing centres to focus on value-added products.
He said: “President Bola Tinubu has taken firm, courageous decisions that have reset the logic of the Nigerian economy. The removal of subsidy and the adoption of a single exchange rate are among the fundamental transformational policies of this administration. This radical approach to making the economy resilient in the long term is the guiding principle of the management of the ministry.”
He said the ministry has to take the bull by the horns if the country must reap minerals worth trillions of dollars underground across the country. He, therefore, called for “a paradigm shift in strategy by re-positioning the sector in terms of human and capital factors that can drive its transformation.”
On creation of the corporation, the minister said: “Mining is big business. Nigeria must assert its presence in this environment by replicating its strategic positioning in the petroleum sector; by setting up a corporate body that plays in this field. Consequently, the ministry shall work towards incorporation of the Nigerian solid minerals corporation.”
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