by Luka BINNIYAT
ABUJA The Project Coordinator, Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP) Mr. Linus Adie has cited a World Bank study on Nigerian Dimension Stones (Granite and Marble) sector as capable of producing 1 million jobs in a short time, while cutting the high production cost of tiles in Nigeria by 100%
Meanwhile the newly appointed Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Musa Muhammad Sada said the Ministry would upgrade its website with very rich materials that would convince foreign investors to take the juicy opportunity that the sector offers.
The Head, Press and Public Relation Unit of the Ministry, Nr. Marshall Gundu made this known in a Pre4ss Statement yesterday.
Adie who spoke on the World Bank study, made this known in Abuja last week at parley with meeting Nigerian Dimension Stone investors, after which the Nigerian Dimension Stone Association of Nigeria was formed.
His words: â€œWe are told that the stone industry is capable of providing over one million jobs in Nigeria. And that is what the project and the ministry is looking at.
â€œWe are told that Nigeria can be self-sufficient in marble and granite products. We are told that in sharpening the manpower in this country Nigeria can also be self sufficient in the required manpower to drive this industry.
â€œWe are told that because of your product can cut cost by 100%â€, he said
He lamented that Nigeria Spends billions of Naira in importing substandard granite and marble tiles in Nigeria to the disadvantage of the stone industry here.
â€œWe have far higher quality products in Nigeriaâ€, he said, â€œbut the cost of production is so high that at the end, many cannot afford themâ€, he said
He then informed the Association about the Carrara Marmotetic Stone Fair in Italy in May this year.
According to him, that Fair is the best and biggest in the world and world afford members to meet investors, financiers and equipment makers with the view of forging enduring partnership.
â€œThe expected outcome is that some of you will be coming back with investors to help you develop the industryâ€, he said.
The stakeholders after deliberating on the sector agreed that there was a need to form themselves into an Association as one of the means of growing the industry. An election was then conducted for protem officer from whom, the Group President of Rich Group of companies, Alhaji Kabir Umar emerged president with Mrs. Vivian Wya of the Ministry of Finance as the Vice President.
The Minister on his part enthused about propelling Nigeria’s drive for investors into the Mineral and Metal sector of Nigeria via the Internet when he paid a courtesy call on the Governor of Kastina State, Ibrahim Shema yesterday, according to Gundu.
â€œArch. Sada explained that through this strategy, prospective investors would have seamless and fast business transactions with the Ministry thereby resulting to the much desired development of the sectorâ€, reads part of the statement
â€œThe Honourable Minister also said that the mining and steel sector should be seen as the hope of revamping the nations’ economy and industrial development.
â€œHe assured that the Ministry would put in place the necessary legislative framework through collaboration with all stakeholders for the development of the sectorâ€, he added
The Minister said that the artisanal and small-scale miners will be assisted in their operations to make meaningful contributions to the national economy.
According to the Minister, the aim of the courtesy visit was to thank the Governor and the people of Katsina State for nominating him as a Minister representing the state.
He assured the government and the people of Katisna State that he would not disappoint them in his appointment.
Arch. Musa M. Sada was the immediate past Commissioner for Works and Housing in Katsina State before his present appointment.
On his part, the Governor of Katsina state, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema commended the Minister for the meritorious and dedicated service he rendered as the immediate past Commissioner of Works and Housing in Katsina State.
He added that his ministerial appointment was well deserved and encouraged him to continue with the good work at the federal level.
.Governor Shema reiterated that the minerals and metals sector was fundamental to the industrial development of any nation and lamented that these resources are not well harnessed in the country.
The Governor advised that for Nigeria to realise her industrialisation dream it must harness its abundant minerals and metals resources adequately.
Governor Shema observed that out of about 25 solid mineral resources in the northern states, 18 different solid mineral deposits are in Katsina state.