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Nigeria, Saudi Arabia collaborate on mining sector development, to establish Joint Technical Committee

Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals (2nd from left) and Other Panelists, Including Pakistani Minister of Energy Pakistan, HE Muhammed Ali; UK Minister of state for Industry and Economy HE Nosrat Ghani ; Chairman Anglo American, Stuart Chambers; Vice-Chairman CMOC Group, Steele Li; CEO Ma'adeen, Robert Wilt, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Photo: State House

*Dr. Oladele Alake, Minister for Solid Minerals Development, affirms the establishment of a Joint Technical Committee to finetune areas of partnership with Saudi Arabia, and map out strategies to concretise areas of collaboration within a specified time frame

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have resolved to strengthen collaboration between both countries to enhance the development of solid minerals as the world transitions from fossil fuels to cleaner energy.

Segun Tomori, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, in a statement issued January 10, 2024, said Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals Development, had led the Nigerian delegations to a recent bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Future Minerals Forum (FMF) holding in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Bandar AlKhorayef.

In his remarks at the meeting, Dr. Alake harped on the need to forge partnership, emphasising that global energy transition is contingent on critical minerals, which he stated exist in abundance in Nigeria.

Alake was a panelist at the opening session of the Future Minerals Forum (FMF) in Riyadh, titled: “Why the Super Region? Should the Super Region Have Its Own Critical Minerals Strategy?

The Minister explained: “We need a lot of investments in exploration, exploitation, extraction, processing, local value addition.

“We realise that we must look at regions outside of Africa to collaborate, further consolidate, and enhance our capacity in exploring and exploiting the natural resources that we have.”

He also stated: “For us to maximally utilise, exploit, and derive maximum revenue for our own economic and infrastructural development, we need to have a very solid partnership with nations like Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia has always displayed good affinity to Nigeria, and it is historical.”

Dr. Alake stressed: “We have always been desirous of reciprocating this very positive gesture, and there is no better area to ensure that reciprocity than to ensure we consolidate on our partnerships in areas of economic development.

“We are willing and open to investments in Nigeria, especially in the mining sector.”

The Minister equally  made a case for investment in local value addition, which involves processing of solid minerals that will culminate in production and establishment of factories in Nigeria. According to him, this will generate employment and have a multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy.

He further emphasised the readiness of the Nigerian team to work with their Saudi Arabian counterpart to finetune specifics and map out strategies to concretise areas of collaboration within a specified time frame.

On repatriation of profits by investors, tax waivers on imported equipment

Expatiating on incentives for investments in solid mineral and mining sector of the Nigerian economy, Dr. Alake as well cited the policy of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on repatriation of profits by foreign investors, tax waivers on imported equipment specifically directed at the mining sector.

The Minister mentioned a rejigged security architecture, which he told his Saudi Arabian counterpart and team would soon come on stream to effectively secure mining areas in the West African country.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. AlKhorayef shared the position of Nigeria on the fundamentals of diversifying the economy with emphasis on the mining sector.

He revealed that Saudi Arabia also places a premium on local value addition while welcoming collaboration with Nigeria.

Tomori said both countries had resolved to set up a joint technical committee to follow through in areas of partnership coupled with a workable action plan, guided by timelines, to harness areas of comparative advantage for mining sector development.

On the Nigerian delegation to FMF in Saudi Arabia are Executive Secretary, Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), Hajia Fatima Shinkafi; and Director-General, Mining Cadastral Office (MCO), Dr. Obadiah Nkom.

Others are the Director-General of the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Dr. Abdulrasak Garba; Director, Investments Promotion and Mineral Trade (IPMT), Ime Erikpo while the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, HE Bandar AlKhorayef; Vice-Minister, Mining Affairs, Engr. Khaled AlMudifer and other government officials represented the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the statement noted.

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