The Federal Government has decried the low participation of Nigerians in mining activities.
The government said the situation whereby the nation’s minerals and metals sector is being operated basically by Chinese and Indians is not good for the economy.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Musa Mohammed Sada, who stated this during a meeting with a delegation of officials of the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) in Abuja, said the Federal Government wanted Nigerians to be major operators in the nation’s mining activities.
According to a statement by the Deputy Director, Press, in the Mining and Steel Development Ministry, Mr. Marshal Gundu, the minister had reiterated the government’s resolve to strengthen the existing collaboration with local stakeholders in the mining sector to encourage local participation.
Sada noted that the efforts led to the establishment of the Minerals and Metals Promotion Unit in the ministry with the sole responsibility of promoting the nation’s minerals endowment both at all local and international mining fora, stressing that business thrives by partnering with relevant stakeholders.
Sada stated that the bulk of minerals occurrences which are largely in the northern part of the country, informed the ministry’s full participation at the 35th Kaduna International Trade Fair organized by KADCCIMA earlier this year.
He said: “A standing committee had already been put in place within the ministry to look into ways the ministry and its agencies would improve on its participation in the subsequent International Trade Fair organized by the association.
“There is the need for more collaboration between the Ministry and its stakeholders in order to expose activities of the sector to Nigerians. The situation whereby the nation’s minerals and metals sector is being operated basically by Chinese and Indians is not good for our economy.”
He urged the delegation to develop a very strong working relationship with the Ministry’s Mineral and Metals Promotion Unit whose one of its responsibilities is to aid and guide investors on area of mining in the country.
Sada said what the Federal Government was trying to promote like limestone resource is the exploitation of clay resource as the number of ceramic companies in the country is on the increase.
The minister assured the delegation of the ministry’s readiness to work with the association in order to give more Nigerians the opportunity to participate in the mining activities of the sector.