BY GABRIEL EWEPU
ABUJA- THE Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Mohammed Sada, at the inauguration of the Governing Board of the National Metallurgical Development Centre, NMDC, Jos, charged members to reposition the sector through impactful policies and programmes.
Sada stated that the members of the board were expected to make sacrifices and be dedicated, in order to add value to the NMDC, and also to bring their wealth of experience to bear, which will help fast-track development in the sector.
Sada said: “This inauguration cannot come at a better time than now, when the minerals and metals sector is in the process of transformation which is aimed at diversifying the economy of the nation.
“It is in line with the need to fulfill constitutional requirements and the Act establishing the Board of the Centre that is Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, finds it necessary to constitute the board. It is therefore my sincere belief that the coming of the board will significantly enhance the operation and indeed the overall performance of the centre.
“Therefore it is expected that you bring your wealth of experience to bear in the execution of your assignment in NMDC, Jos, by contributing your quota in the quest of the Ministry to reposition the minerals and metals sector to play a leading role in the diversification of the Nigerian economy.
“Your sacrificial dedication to your duties will be yet another up-thrust in driving Mr. President’s Transformation Agenda in NMDC, adding great value and giving hope to the desires and aspirations of the good citizens of our great country, Nigeria.”
However, the Chairman of the newly inaugurated Governing Board, Mr. Osifo Akpata, said his team will not disappoint the trust reposed in them by Mr. President and Nigerians, and promised to work assiduously to actualise the expected transformation of the NMDC, and the minerals and metals sector for rapid economic growth.
Akpata said NMDC was a huge ‘goldmine’ that will generate revenue for the government and enlighten Nigerians about the sector, as he also expressed hope for the minerals and metals sector that it will replace the oil and gas sector that the country had depends on for many decades.
“We believe that NMDC is a goldmine itself, which will bridge the gap that exists today. Also to enlighten people who do not know much about the sector, and for investors to come into this sector. The first thing to do is to change the attitude of people towards the sector, and this centre will be critical in that.
“We are neglecting a sector that will be more important than oil and gas in the near future. It is important for people to know that soon oil and gas will become extinct, therefore we need to strategically develop our solid minerals sector, because we believe that soon the solid minerals sector will replace the oil and gas sector, and the funding that is required is put into the sector and it will attract foreign direct investment,” Akpata stated.