Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, Nigerian Hon. Minister for Mines and Steel Development

Mining to contribute 3.0% to Nigeria’s GDP by 2025 –Adegbite

Isola Moses

As Nigeria intensifies efforts at diversifying its economy and opening fresh vistas of opportunities for individuals, groups and corporate organisations to create wealth, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, the Honourable Minister for Mines and Steel Development, has stated that the mining sector will contribute 3.0% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025.

The projection, according to Adegbite, is part of the set target efforts to contribute to the current administration’s diversification project.

ConsumerConnect learnt that Adegbite, who made the disclosure at the recent Mining Indaba Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, said the sector had witnessed steady growth, and is now poised to achieve exponential growth as investments in the sector begin to crystalise.

The Minister emphasised that Nigeria has huge deposits of mineral resources spread across the different states in the Federation.

These, he added, are with abundance of Iron Ore (Kogi, Enugu, Abuja), Bitumen (Ogun, Lagos, Ondo); Gypsum (Anambra, Adamawa, Borno); Gold (Osun, Oyo, Sokoto, Kebbi); Talc (Kogi, Osun, Niger, etc.); and Zinc & Lead (Akwa Ibom, Abuja, Benue).

However, the sector remains significantly undertapped, he noted.

Recall that the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) recently stated the mining sector’s contribution to GDP is only a paltry 0.5% from over 12.1% in the 70s.

According to Adegbite, several issues continue to constrain growth in the sector, including poor infrastructure, weak regulatory framework and institutions, lack of oversight, lack of best practices and data deficit.

Moreover, he emphasised that concerns over illegal mining, lack of protection for legal miners as well as the dichotomy between federal and state governments have all contributed to constraining investments in the sector.

Illegal miners in Zamfara, the Minister noted, routinely smuggled gold to neighbouring countries such as Niger and Togo.

“This led to banditry in the state, forcing the Federal Government to impose a ban on any form of mining activities in the state.

He said though mining as a business activity in Nigeria is carried out on an artisanal basis, a few foreign investors have taken on the task despite challenging conditions to make significant investments in the Nigerian mining sector.

Some of these investors include Australia’s Symbol Mining who develops lead and zinc projects in Benue, Thor Explorations Limited, a Canadian company that owns the Segilola Gold Project.

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