By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, Monday, disclosed that the Nigerian solid mineral sector now has quality and reliable geosciences data which currently attracts influx of investors into the sector.
This was made known by the Director General, NGSA, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba, during a media parley at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
Garba said without reliable geosciences data there would not be meaningful progress in the mining sector, because geosciences data serve as the eyes and ears to investors who want to invest and mine available mineral resources in a particular area or location.
He also explained that with the right type of data, expected investors will be attracted to do business in the sector.
According to him, being a strategic agency in Nigeria’s mining sector, the NGSA has put in effort to improve from generating surface maps to other areas.
The NGSA was established in 1919, and with its over hundred years existence has played a strategic role in developing Nigeria’s solid minerals sector, which it has been the sole generator and validator of geo data and geological information needed by policymakers, institutions, investors and general public.
He said: “Before, what we do is surface maps but we have improved, we also achieved this using the appropriate tools to produce geodata.
“We have published the first set of data on geochronology recently, which has to do with ages of minerals.”
Interestingly, he (Garba) explained that the NGSA’s capacity in human resource development serves as bridge between the academia and the industry, where potential professionals see the mining sector and data use the agency as window to the mining sector.
Meanwhile, while highlighting success recorded by the agency, he said the NGSA is a catalyst of revenue generation of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, which basically is to generate geosciences data for its sister agencies in the Ministry, which include Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, NMCO, and the Mines Inspectorate that takes the data generated to investors who pass due process to obtain mineral titles and licenses, therefore, generates revenue for the government.
However, on the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project, NIMEP, he said that it was a means to an end adding that there was no end to data generation as Nigeria was still at the upstream where data generation is very important.
It will be recalled that NIMEP is a hallmark project was unveiled to provide reliable geo-sciences information need by investors to make the right mining investment decisions in Nigeria.
He also made it known that under NIMEP the agency has been able to produce 333 map albums representing the 36 States with mineral resources deposits, “What we had when I came on board was the Interactive maps, currently we have produced Lithostructural maps that has Tetonic information about Nigeria.”
In his presentation at the just concluded maiden Nigeria- Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit, NAFNIS, the NGSA boss disclosed that government had identified seven strategic minerals based on the information available on them which include Coal, Iron Ore, Bitumen, Gold, Limestone, Lead/Zinc and Barite.
“Basically, you will agree with me that the business of mining is not meant for government to do investigation on minerals, but in this our particular clime we need to take this information up to a particular level whereby the minerals will be attractive to investors”, he said.