The Federal Government has expressed commitment to reposition the minerals and metals sector to enhance socio-economy development in the country. A statement by the Deputy Director, Information and Public Relations, Ministry of Solid Mineral Development, Alaba Balogun, on Friday in Abuja, said the move would also transform the sector. Mr Balogun said that stakeholders in the minerals and metals sector would gather in Ilorin, Kwara State, to address key thematic areas that will enhance the repositioning of the sector. He said that the efforts would bring a rapid socio-economic growth and development of the country. He said that the meeting was scheduled for between 15 and 17 January, 2024.
“The theme of the 5th edition of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development is titled: “Minerals and Metals Sector: A Panacea for Economic Growth and Diversity. The programme is being organised by the Ministries of Solid Minerals Development and Steel Development. Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, will address the council and other relevant stakeholders in the minerals and metals sector,” he said. According to him, it is pertinent to state that during the previous edition of the NCMMRD, a total of 31 memoranda were considered. “The recommendations approved by this council involved mandating state governments to appoint and inaugurate mineral resources and environmental management committee chairmen in the 36 states and the FCT. Adequate sensitisation and training of artisanal miners on areas such as safe and responsible mining and environmental sustainability should be sustained.
“Expedite action on the case submitted to the ministry of justice regarding multiple licensing and taxation in mining by state and local governments, to be brought for interpretation,” he said. Mr Balogun said that other recommendation approved included to sensitise and enlighten mining host communities and other stakeholders. He said that the sensitisation was to ensure mutual harmony, to forestall illegal mining and free up spaces for genuine investors. He said that under the thematic structure of the council were sub-themes which the ministry have called for submission of memoranda by stakeholders. He said that the memoranda were not more than five pages in both soft and hard copies on the topics which involved curbing the menace of Illegal mining operations in Nigeria. He said that the memoranda also include community development and inclusiveness in the Nigerian minerals and metals sector, prospects and problems.
He stated, “It is worthwhile to reiterate that the minister has asserted at various fora that the minerals sector is the next petroleum of Nigeria. Also, with global transition from fossil fuel to green energy and a vowed determination of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to diversify the economy and uplift millions of Nigerians out of poverty level.’’ (NAN)