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Alake: No more mining licences for investors without plans for value addition to Nigerian Economy  

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Mary Ogbe, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake and Chairman, House Committee on Solid Minerals Development, Mr. Gaza Gbefwi, During the Lawmakers' Visit to Alake in his Office, in Abuja, FCT      Photo: State House

*Dr. Oladele Alake, Minister for Solid Minerals Development, affirms the House of Reps Committee, sub-nationals are partners for mining sector development, stating the Nigerian Government will no longer licence any company or individual investor in the minerals sector without presenting a plan for local value addition as processing and refining with a multiplier effect on the economy

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government of Nigeria has decided to halt issuance of mining licences to prospective investors without requisite plans for local value addition in the country.

Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals Development, affirmed this development while playing host to members of the House of Representatives Committee on Solid Minerals on oversight visit to the ministry in Abuja, FCT.

Segun Tomori, Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, Tuesday, March 19, 2024, stated Dr. Alake applauded the Federal lawmakers for their support in repositioning the mining sector.

The Minister also stressed that changing the economic fortunes of Nigeria is a joint task by both the Executive and Legislature.

The statement noted the Minister also used the occasion to assure the legislators of the significant contribution of sub-nationals to mining development.

The State Chairmen of Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) and five members of the committee are nominated by state governments, said Alake.

He also stated: “The importance of this Committee cannot be overstated because whether we like it or not.

“If we are at the cusp of history and it does beckon on us individually and collectively whether as Executive or Legislature to change the paradigm of Nigeria’s economic fortunes because we have to diversify our economy away from the mono-cultural dependency on oil.”

Alake averred, again, that underscores the significance of this committee because of the importance of the ministry in that regard.

He said: “That is why I view your visit here today with all sense of proprietary, responsibility, and appreciation of the oversight functions that you are saddled with.

“We welcome you and believe that from the type of comradeship that I have personally enjoyed with the committee and the leadership.

“I have no doubt in my mind, that what the executive of this ministry needs to forge ahead to achieve its stated objectives in terms of logistics support, legislative framework crafting is assured.”

He equally noted: “It gives me great confidence that when you have members of a committee that understand the issues at stake, understand the problems that the Ministry faces and knows how to give the necessary back-up, then we in the Executive will have no excuse for failure. We can only forge ahead.”

Highlighting the renewed interest of the international community in Nigeria’s mineral resources, Alake further stressed that his 7-point agenda has put the mining sector on the global front burner since his assumption of office

The Minister said: “With the support of the Permanent Secretary, management and the House committee, we have been able to project the sector globally and the result of our efforts culminated in my election as the Chairman of the Africa Minerals Strategy Group (AMSG) on the sidelines of the Future Minerals Forum (FMF) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia based on our 7-point agenda which was applauded by all and sundry.

“This is a group that consists of all African countries’ Ministers of Solid Minerals/Mineral Resources.”

He also revealed that with the pact that led to the formation of the AMSG, there is now unity of purpose on the African continent on the issue of local value addition.

Alake explained: “We are no longer going to allow anybody or license any company that want to go into the mineral sector without giving us a plan for local value addition like processing, refining and this has a multiplier effect on the economy.

“It instantly generates employment rather than a few people carting away lithium, gold, and the likes to other countries to sell. “These minerals must now be processed in Nigeria, creating more value and beneficiation for local communities where they are sourced.”

On security of mineral sites

The Minister disclosed that the Federal Government has finalised arrangement on a new security outfit to secure Nigeria’s natural resources, that will incorporate the existing structure of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) with infusion of technology and specialised training.

Alake stated: “We have come up with what we believe can stem insecurity around natural resources like solid minerals, forests, and marine economy.

“We decided to use the existing structure of the NSCDC because of the cumbersome process of establishing a new security architecture.  In terms of deterrence, the new NSCDC corps will be useful.”

The Minister noted there will be a command in every state of the country, and it will involve the infusion of a huge dose of technology.

The modern-day security architecture is predicated on mostly technology than reliance on only boots on the ground, he said.

The Minister also buttressed this pint and said: “What a whole battalion can do, one single drone can do it, so the new security outfit will be largely technologically driven, and they will be under the overall command of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development (MSMD).

“They are to secure our mine sites, help in stemming theft, illegal mining, and carting away of our solid minerals.

“The command structure of the new outfit will be inaugurated in the coming days.”

In his remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Gaza Gbefwi stated that the House Committee on Solid Minerals, in fulfilling its constitutional responsibility of oversight, paid a visit to the Ministry to ensure that the Executive is doing what it is supposed to do for citizens to get maximum beneficiation from the mining sector.

The lawmaker expressed appreciation to the Minister for cooperating with the Legislature in its oversight function of checks and balances.

Gbefwi emphasised that the Committee would do what is necessary to back up reforms with requisite legislations that will enable the executive propel the sector into an enviable position, with significant contribution to the Nigerian economy.

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