The proposed solid minerals corporation will give Nigeria a stake in all mining activities as it will engage in joint ventures with foreign and local investors in a way that will sanitise and reposition the sector for rapid development, the solid minerals minister, Dr. Oladele Alake, has said.
The minister, who made the comment in an interview with a news medium, CNBC, stated that his recent advocacy visit to the mining conference in Perth, Australia, was to market Nigeria as a lucrative mining destination in Africa and globally.
Alake said that in Perth, he explained the Nigerian government’s deliberate policies and plans to attract local and foreign investors to the sector by establishing, amongst others, the Nigerian Mining Corporation as a particular-purpose vehicle to engage in joint ventures with multinationals.
According to him, the mining corporation will enable the government to harness the mineral resources substantially, unlike the present situation where it is an all-comer’s affair with the government being shortchanged.
“A special purpose vehicle (SPV) like the Nigerian Mining Corporation (NMC) will go a long way to entirely regulate and sanitise the sector, and act as a government face with multinationals, engage in joint venture arrangements, so that Nigerians will have a stake in all of the ventures that go on in that sector. That is the role the corporation is going to play, and it is going to be seriously sanitised with efficient governance structures.
The minister expressed optimism that this strategy would correct all past mistakes.
“As we advance with the Nigerian Mining Corporation, it would be like in other developed societies where you have SPVs interfacing on behalf of the government. That is what this NMC is going to do.’’
LEADERSHIP reports that since he assumed office, Alake has declared the Tinubu administration’s plan to develop the solid minerals sector to become the new oil (petroleum) as the key revenue source for Nigeria.
According to a statement by Alaba Balogun, deputy director (Information) in the ministry, in order to bolster the shift to mining, the minister said, ‘’Nigeria is shifting attention from hydrocarbons to renewable energy…and the solid minerals underground is a perfect alternative.
“Secondly, since we have been a mono-cultural economy for several decades, there is the imperative to look for other very viable sources of revenue to shore up the GDP of the country; and where also could we look but the vastly untapped and unregulated solid minerals sector that is available to us?’’
The minister further said the Perth mining conference presented him with an opportunity to assure investors that the Tinubu administration will promote public-private partnerships in financing essential infrastructure and consistent capacity building, and that a critical component of the roadmap to achieving the administration’s plans was generating adequate geophysical data that would be marketed globally
Alake said: ‘’We have planned many regulatory reforms – security, artisanal miners’ structure and then, of course, the role data plays in solid minerals. We intend to go into this very comprehensively to generate enough geophysical data and all other data that would be marketed to the investing global market to attract this critical investment into Nigeria and shore up that sector and make it contribute significantly to the GDP.
Speaking on the issue of illegal miners, he explained that the 30-day ultimatum given to them was to make them join cooperatives and become formalised for them to continue in their trade. This, he noted, will enhance regulation of the sector coupled with the proposed inter-agency security force that would become operational to sanitise the industry after the expiration of the 30-day ultimatum.