KADUNA – The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Musa Sada, on Thursday urged government at all levels to support investors to realise mining potentials of the country.
He said the development of Road Map in 2012 by the ministry was a clear benchmark intended to act as a catalyst for the growth of the mining sector.
The minister said that the Federal Government had put in place appropriate legislative and institutional instruments necessary to sustain the development of the sector.
“This sector has huge potentials in terms of generating massive wealth and employment for our population and that is why the government put in place all these necessary measures to sustain it.
“It has become compelling at this period of our nation’s development to diversify the country’s economy and increase the contribution of the solid minerals sector to the GDP.
“Central to these initiatives include recognising the role of government as administrator-regulator, the private sector as owner-operator, enactment of Minerals and Mining Act 2007, minerals and metals policy and its requisite regulations ,’’ he said.
Sada said the institutional reforms that helped to drive the sector were the privatisation of moribund government parastatal agencies and enhancement of geoscience data generation capabilities.
Others are the establishment of an autonomous mining cadastre agency for mineral title administration and establishment of policy.
He said the human capacity development provided the requisite skilled manpower needed for development of the sector and this was done through the establishment of National Institute of Mining and Geosciences.
The minister said that the National Geosciences Research Laboratories had been upgraded to world class status to operate at international acceptable levels.
“State of the art equipment have been installed in the laboratories to meet the needs of operators at all levels.
“The facilities in the laboratories include Energy Dispersion XRF Spectrometer, fume cupboard, mini water laboratory, mini Geiger counter,’’ he said.
He commended the World Bank through its sustainable management of mineral resources, for being instrumental to installing the facilities.
Mr Alex Nwegbu, the Director-General of NGSA, said that geological surveys globally provided government and policy-makers, industry and the public with credible information and data pertaining to geological maps.
Others are mineral exploration, mining, building and construction, environment, engineering, land use planning, coastal zone management, natural hazards and medical geology.
Nwegbu said that these had been the mandate of the agency since its establishment 95 years ago and had made it strategic to the material wellbeing of the country.
He said that the agency had discovered a lot of minerals across the country since 1919 and were documented in NGSA publications.
The director-general said that discovery of oil in Nigeria had adversely affected the activities of the agency.
“The Federal government, in her bid to re-invigorate the solid minerals sector, transformed the geological survey of Nigeria, from department to a parastatal under ministry of mines in 2006.
“For the agency to discharge the responsibilities engendered by this new status, the office is putting in place methodologies and outputs that are in tandem with international best practices,’’ he said.
According to him, equipping and modernising the laboratory is one critical step in fulfilling this mandate. (NAN)