Experts have opined that the Federal Government can make a lot of money from mining if well exploited.
Ayo Adeyemo, National Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineers, made this disclosure at his investiture as the 10th national chairman of the institute.
The Details: He said that the government could generate $280 billion from iron ore annually and an extra $12 billion from the lead on a yearly basis.
He urged the Federal Government to invest in precious minerals like coal, gold, tantalite, and cassiterite to shore up revenue.
Citing the 2018 report of geology and mineral resources of Nigeria and their uses, he estimated Nigeria’s iron ore deposit to reach three billion tonnes, coal, three billion tonnes while lead and zinc are to reach 10 million tonnes each.
Highlighting the opportunity that exists in the Ajaokuta Steel Mill, he noted that if the steel mill is completed, it would generate nothing less than 15,000 direct jobs and 500,000 indirect jobs in the upstream and downstream sectors.
Setback: Adeyemo blamed the government for being corrupt and bereft of political will to exploit the mining sector.
“Despite the growth of about 240% observed in the GDP contribution of these minerals between 2011, when it was N52.5 billion (170 million dollars) and 2017, the contribution of mining to the overall National GDP reduced from 0.14% to 0.11%.
“This is far too low compared to the earning potentials of minerals available in Nigeria.”
He lauded the present administration for creating awareness on mining but asked them to concentrate on the sector as America, Canada, and several developing countries already depend solely on mining.
Why this matters: Mining is indeed critical to the development of the economy because of the additional jobs it creates as well as the prospects it can generate for an economy.
A report describes a U.S. metal mining job as one of the highest paying in the private sector, with an average annual salary of $94,000. Canada has greatly benefitted from the sector via the production of iron ore, zinc, gold, and diamonds. It is important the Nigerian Government take advantage of the sector.