Calls for more women participation in sector
As NMGS honours Minister with Honorary FellowshipAward
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite, yesterday assured that Nigeria’s solid minerals sectoris driven by highly professional brains from the country.
Adebgite made the assertion in a statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, Ayodeji Adeyemi, while receiving the Honorary Fellowship Award by the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society, NMGS, in his office, headquarters of the Ministry in Abuja, which he was recognised for passion and commitment in relentlessly driving the sector forward after being appointed Minister.
According to him the high degree of professionalism in the sector had been instrumental to the milestones he had achieved, which he acknowledged and appreciated their display of professionalism, dedication, and drive to change the narrative in the sector.
He said: “This indeed comes as welcome news to the sector which has been attracting interest from foreign investors from the global mining world, proving that the industry has the local manpower to drive it forward.
“When I was nominated as a Minister and we went through the screening process at the senate I had no inkling I’d be in this sector. It came as a surprise to me after we were sworn in and I was assigned to this sector.
“However, I met a lot of professionals here who know their onions and who made the job easier for me. I have learned a lot from these people, they availed me of their knowledge without holding back.
“I learnt from many professionals in the ministry. And the profession is indeed dominated by academics and professors from whom I have learnt. So I have been blessed and I want to say thank God and thank you, guys.”
However, the Minister expressed concern over women’s participation in the sector, while he harped on the necessity of gender inclusiveness along the mining value chain.
“I am very sensitive to gender issues; we want there to be more women in the sector. Though women tend to be knowledgeable women have the advantage of having emotional intelligence, which is now being recognised globally.
“Emotional intelligence is very important that is why we need to encourage our women to come along and take their rightful position in the society and in the world of business.
“I am happy that the current Permanent Secretary is a lady, a medical doctor by profession. And she has quickly adapted to the sector and shown a lot of attitudes.”
Earlier, the outgoing President of NMGS, Engr.Obadiah Nkom, lauded the Minister for his relentless drive to move the sector forward.
“We appreciate your role in the sector, the support you have given to NMGS and for the support, the ministry gave to our society during the just concluded conference we held in Ibadan.”
“We are particularly happy about the NIMEP project and the support you have given NIMEP”, Nkom stated.
He further stated that “NIMEP is the government’s rapid-response to the dearth of investible geoscience data. The project has engaged high-caliber local and international professionals to conduct exploration in brown and green fields for gold, lead, zinc, tantalite, lithium, and iron ore.
“This will generate credible geoscience data capable of giving confidence to investors and prospective investors in the Nigeriaminerals sector. At the end of the exercise, the viable areas will be delineated into concession blocks for interested investors to bid.”