Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bwari has disclosed that private investors have expressed their readiness to commit about $3.32 billion to fund some projects in the mining sector.
Bwari made this known at the Third Nigeria Mining Week in Abuja.
According to Bwari, the fund will be used to finance gold mining and refining, foundry works, lead/zinc exploration and production, tin, tantalite and columbite mining and processing.
The minister said that the ministry was making effort to focus on tackling challenges hindering the formal exploitation of gold, tin and lead-zinc as well stop indiscriminate exports of these mineral commodities to foreign smelters.
He further stated that Nigeria without crude can survive, given her huge potential in non-oil sector. Agriculture, mines and steel among others, are lucrative areas capable of putting the economy on a prosperous path.
How investors can take advantage of the sector
Nigeria is no doubt blessed with multiple mineral resources aside crude. The solid minerals potential, if given its deserved attention, could bolster economic growth.
Mineral resources’ contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was abysmally low, hovering within the region of N103 billion in 2014 despite the country being blessed with over 44 types of solid minerals in varying quantities across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) of the country.
In view of this, it would not be erroneous to say Nigeria’s mining sector has been dormant and abandoned for illegal miners to profit from, while genuine investors have been made to look on.
The scenario endured in the sector until crude oil prices crashed. Consequently, the Federal Government decided to diversify the economy, making mining and agriculture the priority.
Nigeria’s solid minerals sector had no clear-cut structure for discerning investors to invest. In view of the pending challenge, it may be a good time for anyone intending to invest in the mining sector.