Says it’s game-changer for miners, investors
To create massive jobs, wealth
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite, Wednesday, disclosed that the newly approved mining policy by Federal Executive Council, FEC, make it unnecessary for miners and investors to export unprocessed solid minerals raw ore as it eliminates all that.
Adegbite explained that for the mining sector not to go the way of the oil and gas industry, where Nigeria still exports crude oil and gas, which also is traded for refined petroleum products, hence the need for solid minerals to be processed and valued added before export so Nigerian miners and investors would get value for their money.
He said: “While mining is still at its infancy we can make sure that we do the right thing from the beginning, hence we started this policy and this regulation.
“Essentially, what we are saying is we do not want raw ores to be exported from Nigeria.
“There are instances of this. We have kaolin in in Nigeria. Carolyn is something that is mined from the ground.
“What is done normally is that our miners export this kaolin abroad and the end-users in Nigeria, that is the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and paint industries, they now they now import this semi-processed kaolin for their own use in their factory.
“And of course, that is a monetary waste of scarce foreign exchange. We also in the process, export our jobs out there, and we lose a lot of bad. So if we’re able to have the value locally, we’ll keep the jobs we create worldwide people, which is what this policy is all about.
“So if we are able to add the value locally, we will keep the jobs we create wealth for our people, which is what this policy is all about.
“And today we are able to get the federal government’s official stamp on this.
According to the Minister, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, was approached with this regulation, sometime in February 2021, which few amendments were made at the council level to pass the proposal.
“And today (Wednesday) we approached Council and we got our final approval. So the regulation is now official.
He also expressed concern over plight of miners who don’t get value for their labour, time, and money.
“We will discourage, which I don’t want to say outright ban of anybody exporting raw ore out of Nigeria.
“By this you also creating a new line of business for people who do not what to mine but can be processor and they can form a cluster
and look at what people are mining, and all you need to do is bring your processing plant to that place. You process their minerals for a fee and give them back.”
He also expressed optimism that it might sound small but a giant step, and on future will bring about big industries.
He also stated that all minerals in Nigeria will be processed, used locally or exported.
“So that our minerals are used locally, to enhance our economy to create jobs and create wealth for our people.”
Meanwhile, on the sidelines, while answering questions during the briefing said the banks would be convinced to come on board, whereby ongoing construction of processing centres in the six geopolitical zones, but are demonstration projects, and are not exclusive to the government, which also the private sector can come in.”
Also the Minister of State for Mining and Steel Development, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, said, “Also the impact it will have in a way, indirect jobs are created, and if you look at what’s happened within clusters where miners are, it does not necessarily mean that you have to get involved in that but it allows in anchoring processing plants.
“This is a great catalyst within the mining industry, and changing the narrative.”