FG mulls establishment of solid mineral corporation 

As part of ongoing reforms to reposition the mining sector, a corporate identity to be known as Nigeria Solid Minerals Corporation (NSMC) is underway.

This piece of information was given in Abuja on Monday by the Minister of Solid Minerals development, Dr Dele Alake.

He gave the indication at the opening session of a two-day round-table summit on Sustainable Development of Mining Industry in Nigeria organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in collaboration with a private firm Bruit Costaud.

According to Alake while elaborating the details of the corporation, “At the level of legislation, the Committee on Solid Minerals Development has initiated the enactment of an act of the National Assembly on the Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation. We are working with consultants to ensure the smooth emergence of the corporation. a private sector led limited liability company with a clear mandate of engaging in the business of mining across the entire value chain upstream to the downstream. Our vision for the company is that it will create some of the stability the sector requires and spur other private sector activity by serving as a catalyst to investment inflow across the entire sector.” 

The minister who expressed dismay over the monocultural posture of Nigeria on account of oil over the years disclosed that already there is a shift from fossil oil towards mining at the moment.

The director general of NIPPS, Prof Ayo Omotayo, noted that as a foremost government agency saddled with the responsibility of thinking for the government, everything would be done to take the country to 1trillion dollars economy within the next five years in line with the aspiration of the president.

“We want the mining sector to contribute significantly to the country’s GDP in the next five years. That is the reason for this brainstorming session and we feel mining is the next destination market to realise this.”

The Inspector General of Police Kayode Egbetokun who was represented by a Deputy Inspector General of Police, Frank Mba, said in line with the need to restore order in mining, the police has in the last six months arrested 198 criminals from illegal mining sites.

The keynote speaker Prof Akinade Olatunji whose address centred on, ‘Modernising Mining Practices for Sustainable Development in Nigeria’ said, “The history of cities like Enugu, Jo’s and Port Harcourt cannot be written without references to the contributions of minerals and mining to their growth and popularity. The quantum of contributions of mining to the economy prior to the commercial discovery of oil is well known.” 

According to him, “this is the same feat that needs to be replicated in modern times.”