By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal Government is to deploy Science and Technology in the area of solid mineral exploitation so as to accelerate economic diversification of the country.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed this when he received the House Committee on Solid Minerals Development, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Dr. Onu said the deployment of relevant technology to the solid mineral sector will help Nigeria achieve economic diversification in an inclusive and sustainable way.
He added that Science, Technology and Innovation is of strategic importance in the exploitation of the solid mineral industry, in order to increase wealth and create more jobs for citizens.
He told the committee members that the Ministry has the capacity to provide relevant data to help solid mineral exploration.
In his words, “The National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) will help in the provision of data using satellites to guide miners to the areas where they can exploit mineral resources they need”.
Dr. Onu added that Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be deployed by the Ministry’s space agency to help in mining safety and efficiency, adding that through (AI) mines could be operated remotely, thereby minimizing danger to the barest minimum at the mines.
Dr. Onu also said that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) will assist in the area of processing and value addition of solid minerals in order to enhance their profitability.
He added that sustainable and inclusive diversification of the solid mineral industry in Nigeria will ensure improved quality of life for Nigerians.
Earlier, the Deputy Chairman House Committee on Solid Minerals Development, Hon. Victor Mela Dan-Zaria said the committee’s visit was to intimate the Ministry on the upcoming International summit “Ajaokuta 2020”.
Hon. Dan-Zaria said the essence of the summit was for economic diversification in Nigeria with special focus on the Solid Mineral industry, adding that the application of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is crucial to the development of the solid mineral industry.
He further said that the summit will help revive the Ajaokuta steel complex and help Nigeria’s quest for industrialisation.