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Abdulrazaq explains plans to harness natural minerals as Kwara hosts national council on mining

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Kwara State Government has recently registered five (5) Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) as part of its measures to acquire viable mining sites and make the state a major producer of solid minerals in Nigeria, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said on Wednesday.

He said each of the 16 local government areas of the state is blessed with abundant viable mineral resources and in commercial quantities, inviting investors to tap into the natural endowments.

The Governor was speaking in Ilorin at the 5th Annual Conference of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development (NCMMRD), which draws delegates from across the 36 states of the Federation.

The Conference commenced on Monday and ended on Wednesday, with the theme: “Minerals and Metal: A Panacea for Economic Growth and Diversification”.

“We plan to establish a standard mineral market in the state, where all minerals mined from our State will first be registered here before they are transported to other places,” he said.

The Governor commended the choice of Kwara to host the council, hoping that resolutions reached at the end of the meeting will rev up development in the sector.

He thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the bold investments to diversify the economy.

“The need to diversify the economy and harness potentials in the solid mineral and other sectors cannot be overemphasized. The excessive reliance on oil has proven to be unhelpful for our country, and I’m glad we appear to have learnt our lessons,” he added.

“I appeal to the Honourable Ministers present, the DG MCO, DG NGSA to give us all necessary assistance to actualise our dream of becoming a major solid mineral producing state in the country.”

The event attracted participants from all walks of life, including the Minister of State for Mines and Steels Development, Alhaji Uba Maigari; federal parliamentarians; members of the Kwara State Executive Council; and professionals in the mining sector.

Minister of State for Mines ans Steels Development Uba Maigari said steel is the backbone of modern infrastructure and the foundation upon which other sectors thrive, adding that the industry is key for job creation, community empowerment, and diversification of the economy.

Despite the fact that the sector is facing hurdles ranging from aging infrastructure to an uncertain global market, the challenges are an invitation to innovate, collaborate, and think beyond the ordinary, Maigari said.

“That is why I am here today to call on all of you — miners, manufacturers, investors, policy makers, researchers, citizens and businessmen alike — to join hands in a national mission to revitalize our steel industry,” Maigari added.

“Let us use this gathering to not just share ideas but to commit to concrete actions and measurable outcomes. Let us leave Ilorin with the roadmap for Nigeria’s Steel industry that is the envy of Africa and a powerhouse for our nation’s economic transformation.”

He called on miners to always prioritise partnership with local communities and ensure that they benefit from resource extraction, saying the success of the sector intertwines with the well-being of the communities where mining takes place.

He thanked the Governor and the government for the logistics support and for their warm reception throughout their stay in the capital city.

State Commissioner for Solid Mineral Development Abdulqowiyu Olododo, for his part, said the state government is collaborating with security agencies to ensure the safety of investors within the Kwara borders.

“I use this opportunity to convey to our esteemed guests that we are wholeheartedly committed to the advancement of solid minerals, thereby harnessing the economic potentials of valuable minerals such as gold, tantalite, and lithium, which are abundant in our state,” he said, adding that a framework is in place to facilitate works in the state without encroaching upon the existing Federal Mining Act.

Alhaji Teslim Jimoh, a representative of Dangote Group, in his goodwill message, said security is key in the mining sector and charged the Federal government to improve on the safety of miners, thirty percent of whom, he noted, are foreigners.

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
January 17, 2024

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