Economy

Mines Ministry Brainstorms on Teething Problems

Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite says the ministry will be strengthened and reformed for optimal performance.

He stated this while speaking with newsmen in Ibadan shortly after delivering a keynote address at the ministerial retreat with the theme: Strengthen the Reforms in the Minerals and Metal Sector for Enhanced Productivity.

Mr Adegbite, noted that the retreat was geared towards reviewing the level of implementation of the roadmap for the growth and development of the Nigerian mining industry.

Mr Olamilekan believed that the retreat would address challenges confronting the sector in the area of revenue generation and other strategies for the overall development of the mining sector.

The Minister noted that though the Covid-19 pandemic affected some of the strategies the ministry designed in 2019, said the sector still recorded achievement in terms of application and downstream policy of the federal government in the sector.

He said: “Essentially, this is where we bring top management, and middle management of the ministry together to review our performances, focus out of the work environment and determine where we would like to be.”

“One of the things we are going to do at this session is to make sure that whatever we decide, goals we set for ourselves permeate down to the ministry. Those that are not here need to benefit, they need to imbibe the message, and they need to buy into it. That is the only way we can have continuity. That’s why we are here today for benefit of the sector for the benefit of the country.”

“One of the things we decided in 2019 is that we needed to make the application thing straightforward and easier, to make it online based. Fortunately in November, last year, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched the online portal for the MCO. We wanted to do a downstream policy to get away from exporting raw ore and of course, having processing. We export raw crude oil and import petroleum. We don’t want that in this sector and we have been able to achieve that as well. Federal executive council made it an official policy in late 2021, now you cannot export raw ore from Nigeria.

“This has given growth even to many other sectors because some people are now coming in as processors, they are not necessarily miners. They are attaching themselves to clusters. If people are mining kaolin in an area, I can bring a processing kaolin plant and I processed for you either for a few hours or I buy outright from you and I sell. These are some of the things we have achieved, which set to achieve at that time. Processing in the ministry, data management and all that some of this we achieved”

“There are other things we are not there yet in terms of where we like our revenue to be by this 2023, projecting to 2025. We started but Covid-19 has slowed us down. We need to review why we are not there yet, we need to review the”

In a remark, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade said the ministry, through the retreat, would develop strategies that would promptly address lack of synergy, improve governance framework, boost revenue generation and attract needed funds to drive the sector.”

In a paper presentation, a geology expert, Professor Olugbenga Omunlola, who said the mining industry in Nigeria was not doing badly, stressed the need for the nation to look inward holistically on the global domestic trend in the mining industry.

Two of the participants, Mr Dateer Damuluk and Mrs Idowu Dupe were of the view that the retreat was timely and promised to utilize the outcome for the development of the mining sector.

Iyabo Adebisi

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