Mr Ayo Adeyemo, the National Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineers, says the Federal Government can generate $280 billion dollars from the country’s iron ore reserves.
He also said government could generate $12 billion from the country’s lead reserve annually.
Adeyemo, who said this in Abuja at his investiture as the 10th national chairman of the institute, added that this was aside other minerals like coal, gold, tantalites and cassiterite.
He said the estimated deposits of iron ore stood at three billion tonnes, coal at three billion tonnes while lead and zinc stood 10 million tonnes.
This, he added, was according to the 2018 report of geology and mineral resources of Nigeria and their uses.
He added that the Ajaokuta Steel Mill on completion would be able to generate 15,000 direct jobs and 500,000 indirect jobs in the upstream and downstream sector.
Adeyemo, however, noted that the only problem preventing the country from earning good revenue from the mining sector was lack of political will on the part of government and corruption in past administrations.
“Despite the growth of about 240 per cent observed in the GDP contribution of these minerals between 2011, when it was N52.5 billion (170 million dollars) and 2017, the contribution of mining to the overall National GDP reduced from 0.14 per cent to 0.11 per cent.
“This is far too low compared to the earning potentials of minerals available in Nigeria,” he said.
He maintained that the mining sector was one that any government must focus on, adding that America, Canada and other developed countries depend solely on mining.
He further added that it was a good thing that the present administration was creating awareness on mining, but added that much work still needed to be done to take the sector to the next level.
Adeyemo added that the institution would continue to liaise with all ministries that regulate its activities to achieve its mandate.