A private sector led initiative is set to launch Nigeria’s mining industry into global fore with the goal to prompt government action into harnessing the country’s vast mineral deposits.
Nigeria’s mining sector presents incredible opportunities for both the private and public sectors, given the country’s vast natural resources and the current drop in oil prices.
The upcoming iPAD Nigeria Mining Forum in Abuja this November is regarded as a long overdue strategic investment platform that will gather key role players in the Nigerian mining space to discuss the way forward.
The reduction in global crude oil prices has once again highlighted the need for Nigeria to diversify the revenue base of the economy and we hold strongly that one key sector which offers great potential in achieving this is the sold minerals sector, according to Cyril Azobu, Mining Sector Leader and Head Consulting at PwC Nigeria, event partner of iPAD Nigeria Mining Forum.
A statement by Communications manager: Annemarie Roodbol said, that the event director Nicole Smith agrees: “the new government in place has a strong desire to exploit Nigeria’s vastly underexploited natural resources, which includes about 44 varieties of minerals in over 500 locations.
iPAD Nigeria will initiate and fast-track a new mineral sector reform roadmap that encourages and provides innovative business ventures and supports partnership opportunities. It will be a vital meeting place for investors, government, mining professionals and other stakeholders.”
The north central, north east and north west regions are known to have some of the country’s major mineral deposits but due to the persistent plague of terrorism and civil unrest, mining activity in these areas has slackened.
The solid minerals sector has been targeted by the previous administration to contribute 5 percent to GDP by 2015 and 10 percent to GDP by 2020.
Current contribution of the solid minerals sector to GDP averages about 0.46 percent, the statement added.
It is estimated that about 80 percent to 85 percent of current mining activities in Nigeria is via artisanal and small scale mining, while most mines in Nigeria are typically green fields, in the exploratory phase.
According to the statement, 100% aerial geo-physical survey of the country has been undertaken; however, detailed geo-science data gathering is required. The roadmap for the development of the solid minerals sector further projects a 30% contribution by coal to the nation’s power generating capacity.
It further stated that infrastructure is a key element for the success of any mining industry and there is therefore a need to develop a master plan for roads and rail for federal and state adoption adding that previous administrations have made great strides on mining regulations, including tax and customs concessions and 100 percent foreign ownership.
Nigeria is becoming a major regional and global producer of aluminium and steel products with a target of 100 000 tonnes of primary aluminium per year and three million tonnes of steel products per year by 2015.