Both Senate Committees on Solid Minerals Sector and Appropriation have pledged budget support to the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, to enable it actualize it’s target of harnessing critical minerals for economic growth through generation of certifiable data.
These assurances were given during an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals Development and, also at the forum of 2024 budget Defence by the Senate Committee on Appropriation on Wednesday 6 December, 2023 at the National Assembly.
In his address to Committee members titled: ”The Case for Huge Investment In The Solid Minerals Sector”; Dr Alake gave an extensive hindsight into the policies and programmes encapsulated in the 7-point agenda, highlighting activities and achievements of the Ministry within the past 100 days of his assumption of Office.
The Minister explained that diversifying the economy under the present administration is accorded high primacy in which the solid minerals sector is regarded as the next Petroleum of Nigeria. He said: ” We believe this stewardship account will convince the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals Development of the critical need for huge investment in the sector and justify the appropriation of adequate funding to maintain the momentum that we have established, ensure the restructuring of the sector in favour of junior domestic and multinational mining companies and undertake activities to de-risk the sector and promote the well being of Nigerians.”
Continuing, Dr Alake informed the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals Development on deliberate initiatives of the Ministry that will entrench economic prosperity; to include establishment of the Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation, Joint Venture Partnership with Mining Multinationals, Gathering the Big Data and securing the Investment Environment with Mines Surveillance Police and; Technology and Formalization of Artisanal Miners into Cooperatives.
Expiating further, the Minister recalled his advocacy visits abroad to key international mining events as testament of a renewed vigour to reposition and diversify the economy. ”To demonstrate the holistic and integral character of our strategic roadmap, we believe that the progress recorded on the above initiatives will provide compelling material for the marketing of Nigeria as a profitable destination for mining. We shall organize country visits and tours, exhibitions, conferences, advertisement campaigns, and presentations to tell significant stakeholders in the global industry that Nigeria is the next profitable destination for investment”, the Minister enthused.
Responding, the Chairman Senate Committee on Solid Minerals Development, Senator Sampson Ekong assured the Honourable Minister and his entourage of its Committee’s support to make the Ministry realize it’s stated objective of diversifying the nation’s economy as well as ramping up revenue accruable to the government through the sector.
Senator Ekong said: ”we in the Committee will work with you to succeed; work with the Ministry as a team; we must ramp up our revenue, explore our God given minerals. This sector means so much to Nigeria, we must diversify. You look for money with money; whatever we can do about the budget, we assure you of our support”.
Also speaking at the forum of Senate Committee on Appropriation, the Chairman Senate Committee on Solid Minerals Development, Senator Ekong emphatically affirmed: ” This is one sector we need to harness: we need to appropriate more fund to this sector. We must get more funding for this sector…”
Alaba R. Balogun
Head, Press & Public Relations