Buhari Reiterates Development Of Steel Sector Huge Priority Of His Administration
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President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that his administration vision for an industrialised nation cannot be achieved without a vibrant steel sector and that the development of the steel sector is still a huge priority of his government.
Buhari said that the mining sector has always needed a transformational leap to contribute meaningfully to the envisioned economic growth of the country, because despite the glorious contribution of the mining sector to our national economy in the past and the abundance of mineral resources found in almost every state of the Federation, the growth of the sector stagnated for, many years especially since the early 1970s and there have been many notable efforts by previous administrations to wake the sleeping giant that is is the mining industry up.
The President who was represented by the Vice president of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the 6th Edition of the annual Nigeria Mining Week in Abuja made this disclosure.
“At the beginning of our administration in 2015 we intentionally prioritised the development of the country’s mineral resources as one of the frontiers for economic growth.
“This led to the comprehensive Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Sector and we have steadily followed the steps set out in the roadmap.
“So far, we can say without fear of contradiction that this administration has committed more resources to the development of the mining sector than any other government in the history of this country.”
He added: “On our part, the government will continue to intensify its regulatory and supervisory role in ensuring that mining is held to the highest standards of sustainable development and intergenerational equity.
“On a brighter note, it is now well known that the global energy systems are transiting to clean energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero.
“These massive changes will increase the demand for critical minerals for clean energy generation. Leveraging on the opportunities emerging from the market potentials for these minerals, government is encouraged to intensify the exploration of these critical minerals.
“The investment community is also invited to participate in the mining and processing of minerals along the entire value chain of this emerging opportunity.”
President Muhammadu Buhari further stressed that he understand the huge demand for steel and iron in Nigeria’s domestic markets and across the West African sub-region.
He noted that this is why his administration prioritised the resolution of all the issues constraining the full operation of the Ajaokuta Steel company and to this end a transaction adviser has been appointed to concession the Ajaokuta Steel Company and the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company Itakpe.
“The selection process is ongoing. Our commitment is to break the jinx and actualise the dream of a vibrant steel sector.”
In his welcoming address, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite said one of the priority goals of the Buhari administration is to reposition the mining sector, within the framework of the economic diversification policy to become one of the frontiers of sustainable economic growth for Nigeria.
“Your Excellency, one of the priority goals of your administration is to reposition the mining sector, within the framework of your economic diversification policy, to become one of the frontiers of sustainable economic growth for Nigeria.
“Your ambition was the rejuvenation of a mining sector that is globally competitive and capable of contributing to wealth creation, providing jobs and support to industrialization in a conducive environmental and social ecosystem.
“My Ministry was charged to drive this transformation”, Adegbite said.
The Minister recalled that the Buhari administration inherited some key legacy issues that are fundamental to the growth of the Mining Sector.
He maintained that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development had to crystalise various strategies to address the lack of geological data, weak institutional capacity to govern the sector, low revenue generation, informal mining and community issues, and the protracted litigations on the nation’s steel assets.
“With the unprecedented support and direction of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the National Assembly, the Ministry has recorded some significant achievements that has defined a growth trajectory for the Nigeria Mining Sector.”
Highlights of the occasion was the unveiling and launch of the electronic Mining cadestre system – eMC+ (online real-time) Mineral Title Administration and Management by President Muhammadu Buhari.