Mining Minister Adegbite: “Now is the time to be one of the pioneers in Nigerian mining”
The mining sector globally has welcomed the return of the Nigeria’s leading industry event on the calendar: Nigeria Mining Week will be back in-person at the Abuja International Conference Centre from 1–3 November 2022. After two years of digital connection, the entire mining value chain will reconnect face-to-face and explore the many exciting opportunities that the mining sector of this West African powerhouse offers and while the progress that has been made thus far to kick-start the country’s mining sector will be showcased.
Proudly hosted by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and organised by the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) in collaboration with PwC Nigeria and The Vuka Group, Nigeria Mining Week has been a committed promoter of what is widely regarded as the best next investment destination for mining houses and investors. The Abuja government, in particular, has been putting all its political will and weight behind the promotion of the sector and the event to gather investors, mining houses, thought-leaders, innovators and disruptors.
Minister: “Now is the best time”
Since assuming office in 2019, Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, has been beating the country’s proverbial mining drum loudly and clearly, gracing many mining forums around the globe and communicating the message that the Nigerian mining sector is ready for investment and development, and the results are speaking for themselves with exciting new iron ore, bitumen and barite projects that are in active development or already up and running.
“Now is the best time to come into Nigeria,” Minister Adegbite says in a recent, exclusive interview with Mining Review Africa, the premier media partner of Nigeria Mining Week, “we have a lot of greenfields and brownfields. It's easier and cheaper to mine in Nigeria because a lot of the minerals have been untapped and are very close to the surface. Therefore, the cost is a lot cheaper”.
He added that Nigeria offers many incentives for would-be mining investors, including 100% ownership, tax holidays and duty free import of equipment. “So, this is the time to come and be one of the pioneers in Nigeria”.
“There is a lot of interest”
The ministry has also been marketing the data on the minerals in Nigeria, obtained through the NIMEP project (National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project). “And now we're beginning to get some good results on that. There is a lot of interest, people are coming to Nigeria. Just last year, a British firm made an investment of $50 million”.
The ministry has also initiated several programmes for the many artisanal miners in the country to identify them, encourage them to join cooperatives, provide free training on better mining methods and reclamation, as well as inexpensive funding to buy modern equipment. “There are a lot of incentives, and we're getting good results”, says the minister, “at the last count, we registered 400 cooperatives of these artisanal miners working in different areas in Nigeria”.
MAN: An economic platform to be proud of
The acting President of the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), one of the official organisers of what will be the 7th edition of Nigeria Mining Week, Alh. Musa Muhammad, agrees that the country’s mining industry has made important strides forward, both for investors, mining houses and the people making a living off the nation’s valuable and varied mineral resources.
This positive progress includes:
- Appreciable increase in sectoral contributions to the GDP;
- Increased interest of foreign investors due to the verifiable geological data being generated by the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP), of the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency;
- Digitalization of mineral titles administration by the Mining Cadastre Office;
- Development of cluster buying centres across the geopolitical zones; and
- Standardization of Nigerian barite to meet global specifications.
According to MAN’s Alh. Musa Muhammad: “While not ascribing the glory of these developments entirely to the direct outcomes of the annual Nigeria Mining Week, the various conversations and communiques emanating from this platform, and similar others, have been incubating the ideas for policy formulation and actions birthing these developments”.
He adds: “We hope this partnership, under the leadership of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, will continue to blossom, so that we will bequeath to our nation, an economic platform that we all can be proud of”.
Nigeria Mining Week is an annual event and online platform for all the mining stakeholders and influencers in the public and private sector wanting to do business in Nigeria. Established seven years ago, it is organised by the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) in collaboration with PwC and The Vuka Group and is supported by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development. DRC Mining Week is a partner event and Mining Review Africa is the premier event media partner.
Mining Review Africa is the leading monthly magazine and digital platform in the African mining industry. Every month, MRA reaches an audience of over 50 000 influential mining authorities and key decision makers through a variety of channels, including an interactive website, videos and print distribution at all major mining conferences in Africa and across the globe.
Nigeria Mining Week event dates and location:
Dates: 1–3 November 2022
Location: Abuja International Conference Centre