5th Annual Nigeria Mining Week Discourse Series
OPENING REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE 5TH ANNUAL NIGERIA MINING WEEK DISCOURSE SERIES THEMED: TOP 7 REASONS TO INVEST IN NIGERIA’S MINING SECTOR ON THE 16TH OF NOVEMBER, 2021
It is such a great pleasure to join you as we open the 5th Annual Nigeria Mining Week Discourse Series. I find the theme, “Top Seven Reasons to Invest in Nigeria’s Mining Sector” quite intriguing. It focuses on what has been the major objective of all our exertions as a government in the mining sector in the past few years and that is attracting local and foreign investments.
I have not had a discussion with the Hon. Minister of Mines and Steel, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite, on the seven reasons he and his team intend to advance for investing in Mining in Nigeria, but I listened to his presentation earlier and of course the very attractive incentives he spoke about. But one reason I think is indisputable is the strong policy, and regulatory framework which we have diligently and methodically developed over the years. That framework is possibly our strongest argument for seeking to attract investment into Africa.
So, the development of the mining sector has been an important component of our Economic Policy at least since the inception of our administration in 2015. What will be evident to a potential investor is that we have built a robust framework for the mining sector, line by line.
In 2016, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, produced a clear Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Sector Industry.
In pursuit of the goals set forth in the roadmap, the government initiated an ambitious reform regime in the sector, the flagship of which is the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Programme (NIMEP), designed to rapidly generate geological data with the aim of de-risking the sector and attracting high caliber investments.
Today, the mining sector features prominently in our National Development Plan 2021-2025, approved by the Federal Executive council barely a week ago. So, this is an issue that has had the benefit of the deep consideration of a robust team aside from all relevant Federal officials, but also State governors and representatives’ local government councils and the private sector.
As we deepen our efforts to revitalize the mining sector, we are doing so with lessons learned from a half-century of resource extraction. We recognize, for instance, that it is not enough to seek investments merely for the sake of exploitation and extraction. Rather than writing this new chapter of economic growth, our aim is to develop local industries, generate employment, and focus on resource beneficiation to create wealth along the mineral value chain.
Concurrently, there is an ongoing review of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007, aimed at bringing legislation into conformity with global best practices, limiting the role of government to that of regulation, and creating the space for the private sector to maintain a more expansive presence in the sector.
The early evidence that our framework is on the right track is the inflow of notable investments. These include Thor Exploration Limited’s Segilola Gold mine, in Osun State, with an initial production capacity of 80,000 ounces of gold annually, representing the first large-scale gold mine in Nigeria.
In June last year, I also had the privilege of commissioning the Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refinery (DGPMR) Project. The company set out to be a foremost indigenous refiner and trader of gold and other precious metals. Its potential impact on the gold sector is nothing short of revolutionary. By providing offtake opportunities through the establishment of Precious Metals Buying Centres, it serves as a spur for more small and medium scale mining investment, while its refinery symbolizes its focus on value addition in the gold and precious metals industry in Nigeria and West Africa.
A similarly remarkable investment is the integrated Iron Ore Mining and Processing Plant set up by African Natural Resources and Mines Limited (ANRML) in Kaduna, which has an initial production capacity of 4.704 million tons of iron per annum and will scale up to 5.88 million tons per annum.
It is significant that within the space of a year, we have recorded a 26.7% increase in revenue generation from N2.559billion in 2019 to N3.242billion in 2020. But while this is encouraging, we recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done. That is why this forum is so important, we are privileged to have in attendance so many distinguished experts and resource persons that deeply understand governance vis-à-vis the Mining Sector in Nigeria.
You are all leaders in this field, and I am confident that your knowledge, experience, and expertise will provide important insights for optimizing the Nigerian Mining Sector. I must say that the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite and the Minister of State, Mines and Steel, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, and their team deserve hearty congratulations and commendations for the hard work they have done and their focus, and the way they have used tremendous insight locally and internationally to advance all of the interests of the mining sector in Nigeria.
I also look forward to this event serving as a solid platform for strategic reflection, incubation of ideas, and production of actionable policy propositions on diverse issues of mining along its value chain.
I wish you great success in your deliberations and I would like to formally declare open this 5th Annual Mining Week Discourse Series.
I thank you very much for your kind attention.
God bless you.