Mining minister Kayode Fayemi is looking to review all mining licenses in the country by the first quarter of 2016, giving stakeholders an amnesty period of up to March 1 to regularize their papers.
At the core of his plans, the new minister is looking to turn around Nigeria’s unproductive mining sector which he said has been dominated by artisanal miners, and which contribute only 0.34 percent to GDP.
The minister will be looking to boost the output of minerals such as gold, iron ore, zinc, coal and more than 40 other known minerals, which had hitherto not been exploited as a result of government’s fixation on oil.
Part of the problems plaguing the mining sector has been a lack of supporting infrastructure including rail and ports.
However, the government’s decision to take mining as a critical economic pillar in an era of sunken commodity prices, is something analysts haven’t fully grasped.
Round the world, resource companies are shedding mining assets as they become economically non-viable in the face of record low prices.