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Nigeria: Activating investment ‘pathways’ in solid minerals will boost Forex inflow, job creation –Minister

Some Nigerian Solid Minerals Photo: Embassy of Nigeria, in Romania

*Prince Shuaibu Audu, Honourable Minister for Steel Development, discusses some ‘pathways’ for the Federal Government of Nigeria to enforce the processing of industrial raw materials locally to boost Foreign Exchange  earnings and enhance job creation in the economy

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has said Nigeria will enforce the processing of industrial raw materials locally to boost Foreign Exchange (Forex) inflow and enhance job creation for Nigerians.

ConsumerConnect reports Prince Shuaibu Audu, Honourable Minister for Steel Development, stated this while addressing the 2nd Edition of the Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit Tuesday, October 31, 2023, in Abuja, FCT.

Prince Audu said some pathways had been suggested that transition metals could be produced locally with requisite value addition.

The Minister also disclosed such pathways included “enforcing the processing of raw materials locally.”

He stated: “Government will provide an environment conducive to investments in minerals processing plants across the country.

“This will ensure Forex proliferation and creation of jobs for skilled and unskilled workers in the mining sector.”

Audu further stressed the West African country “must improve promotional activities for specific minerals; we must build on several on-going initiatives to grow Nigeria’s mining sector.

“Local and global promotion needs to be intensified on lithium, gold, limestone, among others to attract investments into the sector.”

Exploration of bankable data for mining

The Minister also noted that the Nigerian Government would invest in exploration of bankable data for mining for success.

Prince Audu said: “Government will encourage investments in the determination of large volumes and deposits of transition metals.

“We need to secure the mining environment; ensuring a secure environment through enhanced security initiatives remains one of the matters that require urgent attention.”

He stated: “We need to establish host communities mineral development fund.

“This will address the challenges investors usually encounter with local communities on ownership of mineral deposits.”

According to him, Nigeria’s journey in the mining sector has been both transformative and evolutionary.

The Minister stated as Nigeria stands at the cusp of a new era, the pursuit of value addition becomes paramount, particularly in the realm of transition metals.

He said: “The demand for these metals, crucial in the development of green technologies, has surged globally.

“Africa’s potential to meet this demand is vast, yet largely untapped.

“The key lies not only in extracting these metals, but in harnessing our capabilities to produce and refine them locally.”

Audu explained that “doing so is an opportunity to foster economic growth, create jobs, and also maintain control over our resource value chain.

“By investing in domestic refining and production capabilities, we are adding value and also paving the way for sustainable development.”

The need for robust stakeholder engagements

Prince Audu as well emphasised the need for extended collaborations among the stakeholders.

He noted that collaboration between the Federal Government and sub-national governments, industry stakeholders, and investors is necessary to build a robust infrastructure, promote innovation, and instigate supportive policies that encouraged local value addition.

The Minister said: ” Furthermore, it calls for a commitment to sustainability, incorporating responsible mining practices, and embracing environmentally-friendly production techniques to mitigate any adverse impact on the ecosystem.

“As the Minister of Steel Development, I stand committed to supporting initiatives that foster the local production of transition metals.

“We are committed to a sustainable future that demands innovation and transformation in steel production, ensuring that our advancements align with global environmental standards.”

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