Enhancing Productivity Through Stakeholders’ Involvement In Mining

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Stakeholders on the platform of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society ( NMGS) have advocated the need to ensure full implementation of the mining roadmap towards ensuring full development of the sector, Ruth Tene Natsa writes.
The NMGS made the call in a communique delivered at the 53rd Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society(NMGS), with the theme: “The Extractive Industry: The Imperatives For Wealth Creation and Employment,” which started on Sunday, March 26 ,  in Abuja.
The conference had over 2000 participants drawn from both public and private institutions including the solid minerals,oil and gas, water sectors as well as students and international organisations.
The communique called for the Implementation of the ministry of mines and steel development roadmap, particularly stressing the need to make funds available to assists small- scale miners with loans, equipment, good regulation and the engagement of competent persons for the production of bankable reports to aid quick investment decisions.
Also,the communiqué stated that a key solution to the numerous challenges facing the  mining sector in Africa, Nigeria inclusive had been aptly captured in the Africa Mining Vision(AMV), 2009 and therefore recommended that Nigeria should fully domesticate the AMV and use the resources for full and sustainable implementation.
Other recommendations by the society include the need to intensify the fight against corruption so that all revenues paid by companies shall be remitted to government for the provision of infrastructure, health and educational facilities.
As well as creating and investing in mineral beneficiation and processing facilities to fully exploit the marketing potentials among several others.
The society concluded that for Nigeria to overcome all the challenges militating against real growth in the extractive industry, the streams of activities must be subjected to special attention and institutional focus which include beneficiation and manufacturing in the downstream, provision of mining equipment, services and consumables in the upstream and provision of infrastructure, research and development in the side stream.
Earlier while deliberating, the stakeholders had identified lack of correlation of existence of natural resources with positive developmental indices and the need to fight the resource curse syndrome, lack of computational indices to correctly compute tax, levies and royalties and lack of beneficiation which puts the mineral industry at a disadvantage as key challenges hindering development in the mining and extractive industry.
Other challenges they listed include the lack of transparency of government agencies in conducting their business and inefficient mechanism of remittance as well as the fact that Africa was so rich in mineral resources yet remained so poor because it lacked the link between geology and everyday life.
Giving the welcome address, president of the Society,Prof. Olugbenga Okunlola said the NMGS which is in its 56th year was inaugurated in 1961.
“We have had occasions where we have been listened to and occasions where we have been snubbed. In all these and despite all these we can still hold out heads high and proclaim without apologies that out members still produce the wealth of this nation,not only creating it but sustaining it.
“We still have a long way to go. Just when we thought in the fifties through the early seventies that the mining sector was coming of age and was a major GDP contributor to Nigerian space, a series of policy blunders plunged us back to infancy,where we are still trying to crawl from in the last 20 years,” he said.
This is even as the minister of mines and steel development, Dr Kayode Fayemi , stated that “We anticipate contribution to mining GDP to exceed $25 billion, by 2026 as industries are better able to use the output of the sector.”
According to Fayemi,  “Already, we are seeing the green shoots of growth  if we go by the evidence coming out of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the net outcome will be the creation of thousands of direct jobs and potentially hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs.
“We anticipate contribution to mining GDP to exceed $25billion by 2026 as industries are better able to use the output of the sector, substituting for imports.”
He added that analysis conducted by major stakeholders in the solid minerals sector, the Association of Metal Exporters of Nigeria also indicates that the nation  can generate at least N5 trillion annually from mining and exporting of its vast solid mineral deposits.
The minister who stated that vast opportunities exist in the sector said, “To rebuild the sector and unlock its full potential, the ministry is pursuing a focused strategic agenda.”
He further noted that the aspiration was to build a world-class minerals and mining ecosystem designed to serve a targeted domestic and export market for minerals and ores.
“We will achieve this by focusing on Nigeria’s minerals, mining and related processing industry over a 3 phase period,” he said.
Fayemi said  that the phases would  seek to rebuild market confidence in its minerals and mining sector, focus on expanding domestic ore and mineral, asset processing industry and would also seek to return to global ore and mineral markets at a market competitive price point.
He maintained that “rebuilding Nigeria’s mining sectors is a function of six  key dimensions which include clear minerals and steel focus, institution and governance, stakeholder engagement, industry participants, geosciences data/information, access to finance and creating an enabling environment.
“Should Nigeria successfully implement the proposed recommendations, growth is expected to return to the sector in the form of new exploration activity, operations and production from active mining.
“We must however remember that government remains committed to its role of stimulating the deepening of the industry as facilitator, not necessarily as active players.”
Source: Features

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