Solid Minerals Roadmap will Grow Industry, Economy –Fayemi

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday, said a road map for the ministry would provide far-reaching views and opinions toward developing and growing the industry and the Nigerian economy.

The minister said this in Abuja when he received the report of a 16-man committee on the road map which he inaugurated on March 1.

Fayemi said that the map would enable the nation to embark on sustainable development journey for the mining and metal sector.

He added that the ministry would soon review the road map and subject it to stakeholders’ review to ensure an airtight document that could withstand the test of time.

``The road map committee shall continue to see us through this process and we will continue to work with it to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are captured,’’ he said.

The minister added that the ministry was mandated during the recent National Economic Summit to circulate the road map to state governors to respond to it when completed.

He said ``the document will be accordingly made available to the state governors and if there is any amendment to be done, then we will amend before making it available to the public.

``This will help people to track our work and commitment; we will not allow the document to be dormant or remain on the minister’s table.''

Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, had said that the road map was a mechanism to ensure timely and sustainable means of developing the sector.

He said that the sector was facing a lot of threats, saying that most investors were scared of investing in the sector.

``Investors want to make sure that the money invested into the sector is realised; this is one major risk which the road map must address.''

He added that the crucial threat confronting the sector was that the states would want to have some level of control, as the Land Use Act gave them control over all land in states but the Nigerian constitution says the mineral under the land must be controlled by the Federal Government.

``This is an area where the federal and state governments must collaborate on in order not to scare investors.''

He urged the ministry to empower existing small-scale miners to enable them to pay taxes.

Also, Alhaji Sani Shehu, the President, Miners Association of Nigeria, said the implementation of the road map would reduce importation of industrial minerals.

Shehu also called on the ministry to support miners to step up mineral extractions for the local industries.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee was given one month to produce a 25-year action plan for the transformation of the solid minerals sector.

The document contains short-term action plan of 24 months, mid-term plan of 10 years and long-term plan of 25 years.