President Muhammadu Buhari says government’s key policy objective of rejuvenating the mining sector was being realised as witnessed by the diversification of the economy and broadening of the country’s revenue base.
Speaking while receiving the National Executive members of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) at the State House on Thursday, the President also expressed delight with the on-going formalisation of illegal mining as a way of curbing its implications on national security, revenue generation, the environment, health and safety of the citizens.
President Buhari said his administration has been vindicated in its assumptions that the nation’s endowment in mineral resources, the mining and solid minerals sector has the potential to create employment, increase revenue and reduce poverty.
He attributed the successes recorded so far to the government’s policy of increasing budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, formalisation of illegal mining, approval of funds from the Natural Resources Development Fund to support small miners, and enhancing human capital development.
The President said that strengthening of the regulatory framework, enhanced transparency in the licensing process which the eased business activities, playing significant roles in the achievements recorded in the mining sector.
Activation of dormant mining
He pledged continued government support to the sector.
The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, said the favourable government policy in the sector had led to the activation of dormant mining licences, increase in earnings by the government and the prevalence of “mining prosperity” in the country. According to him, “the mining sector has never had it so good.”
The President of the NMGS, Professor Silas Dada expressed gratitude to President Buhari for being the first Nigerian leader to be conferred with the Society’s Grand Patronship in person.
He commended the government for the “revitalisation and rejuvenation” of the mining sector in the country, from its “moribund and chaotic state, following years of neglect and abandonment.”
He joined other members of the delegation to confer the laurel on President Buhari who now becomes the Grand Patron of the NMGS.