Stakeholders in the mining sector from government to the private sector have provided integrated solution to the mirage of challenges facing licence holders and operators in the mining sector.
The stakeholders led by the Director General of the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, President of the Chamber of Mines, President Mining Association of Nigeria listed challenges such as insecurity, funding, lack of equipment amongst others.
In his keynote address, the DG of Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, Engr Obadiah Simon Nkom dwelt on several measures already taken by government to resolve the challenges of the sector to expand opportunities and to make mining the backbone of the economy.
He pointed at the diligent implementation of the mining sector development plan by the minister under the President Buhari’s direction and noted that a sign of success is the increasing contribution of the mining sector to the GDP.
He also mentioned the establishment of solid minerals development fund and the reform of the mining cadastral office to make it more efficient in the management of licensing processes.
He listed some of the reforms already undertaken by the mining cadastral to include, migration to the portal for processing of mining application from all over the world, the establishment of six zonal offices to attend to miners at the grass-root level, the enforcement of mining regulations to curb illegal mining and the ongoing work to create an inventory of mining licences and opportunity in the country.
President Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry who was represented by the Vice President Mines, Dr Johnson Somadina Anene stressed that the 44 identified minerals in Nigeria, if well explored are enough to provide jobs for the teaming unemployed youths in the country.
He said government need to address the issue of insecurity and rancor between companies and host communities as this will go a long way in making the sector more attractive.
In his contribution, the president of the chamber of mining, Alhaji Sani Shehu urged the government to protect licence holders as they face challenges of operating in the communities.
He said operators go through rigorous processes to obtain these licences and should be protected when operating at the communities.
He also suggested that government should preserve some strategic minerals for future use as technology is making some minerals more relevant.
Also speaking the President Miners Association of Nigeria, Kabiru Mohammed said the challenge of equipment faced by the Miners will soon be resolved as the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development is currently “planning to see how many equipment we can access from the funds we have so we can distribute to the six geo-political zones in such a way that it will reach out to our miners”.
In her closing remarks, the DG ACCI, Ms Victoria Akai ACCI told the gathering that ACCI is home to the Nigerian Chamber of Mines, the Gemological Institute of Nigeria and a Gems and Jewelry Training Centre adding that a gems and Jewelry market is being planned for the very near future.
She also said the chamber’s Dispute Resolution Centre is available for settlement of disputes that may arise between businesses within the sector adding that the chamber has over the years set the pace by embarking on activities that have unlocked several doors of opportunities which have put our people to work and also expanded businesses.
ACCI (Media Officer)
February 26, 2021