Abuja – The Nasaman Mining Company Ltd., Abuja, has called on President-elect Muhammadu Buhari to develop artisanal and small scale miners, to boost mining activities.
Mr Mamman Ali, the Chairman of Company, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja that more than 80 per cent of the solid minerals in the country was produced by the artisanal and small scale miners.
The chairman said the groups lacked both financial and technical capabilities to develop as a truly sustainable industry as mining had been capitally expensive.
He urged the government to adequately fund mining sector and encourage miners to add value to the raw products from mining instead of exporting the raw materials.
Ali said that development of the sector would ensure acceleration of economic diversification, attract foreign investments, create employment opportunities and teach technical skills to operators.
The chairman advised the government to ensure continuity of the roadmap and other policies of government for rapid development of the sector.
Ali said the company had been operating in line with the Federal Government’s road map, industrial revolution plan and others, to ensure best global practice.
He said the Operations Manager of the company was also an adviser to the UN on artisanal mining development.
“We are already providing jobs, teaching technical skills and drawing the artisanal population out of economic obscurity.
“They have been neglected for long. Using our processing facility across the country will empower millions of them. The mining industry in Nigeria is young and requires expatriate expertise to assist,’’ he said.
He appealed to the government to support and encourage Nasaman company to develop its mining industry.
“We hope that incoming administration will be committed to encourage the sector and not prevaricate like the previous government.”
The chairman said the company established and commissioned Nigeria’s first fully operational, chemical-free, large-scale mechanised gold processing facility in Isanlu, Kogi.
He said the sector was underdeveloped and had led Nigeria to be importing minerals that could be produced locally such as salt and iron ore.
Ali said in 1940, Nigeria was a major producer of tin, columbite and coal but the discovery of oil in 1956 hurt the sector, as focus was shifted to the new resource. (NAN)