By Gabriel Ewepu

ABUJA- THE federal government recently gave a boost to miners’ confidence with the re-launch and sensitisation workshop on the existence of the Nigeria Geosciences Research Laboratory, NGRL, Kaduna.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Musa Sada, in his address said the government had established the laboratory since the colonial era, but had received a boost after installing state of the art facilities to meet the demands of miners.

Sada, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Dauda Kigbu, said: “The responsibility of government, at various stages, is to support investors to ensure that standard practices are adopted in realising the full potential of their investments.

“Value addition to the operations of miners is key to achieving this objective. The facilities here in the National Geosciences Laboratories, which have been upgraded to world class status, should excite genuine stakeholders whose ambition is to operate at internationally acceptable levels.

“State of the art equipment has been installed at these laboratories to meet the needs of operators at all levels. The facilities in the laboratory include Energy Dispersion XRF Spectrometer, X-ray Diffractometer, Scanner Electron Microscope, Fume Cupboard, Mini Water Laboratory, Mini Geiger Counter.

“A lot of emphasis has been placed on capacity building of staff to ensure that these sophisticated equipment are handled with utmost degree of professionalism. Currently, the laboratories are at the concluding stages of securing ISO certification and accreditation.

“The benefits of all these being put in place are to, among others, create the enabling environment that will guarantee full value for investment. Today’s stakeholder workshop is therefore an institutional support for the good of the sector.

“In all of these endeavours, we must acknowledge the critical role played by the World Bank through the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP). They were instrumental to the putting in place some of these facilities that have been adjudged to be, in some cases, the best of its kind in Africa.”

The Minister said the workshop was to sensitise miners and investors as the players in the industry were not aware of the laboratory, and that miners will no more travel to Britain, Thailand, and Ghana, rather will take mineral samples to Kaduna for analysis, including countries within the sub-region.

Also speaking, the Director-General, Nigeria Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, Mr. Alex Nwegbu, said the essence of the workshop is to bring the laboratory to public focus in order to assist miners, exporters and investors in transacting businesses abroad without being short-changed.

This is so because they will have knowledge about the value of the mineral they want to export.

Nwegbu added that there will be continuous public enlightenment about the laboratory for optimal utilisation and patronage.


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