The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said an Australian-owned Nigeria mining firm has recently declared the discovery of high-grade nickel in some parts of the country. Fayemi, who disclosed this at a workshop, explained that both countries had in 2012, signed a memorandum of understanding, MOU, covering economic, commercial, scientific, technical, cultural cooperation and most notably in the mining sector.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mohammed Abbas, he said: “We recognise that the imperative of cooperation has never been more urgent as we pursue maximal growth for the sector.”
The minister also emphasized, the workshop is quite apposite in the quest to reform and improve administrative and regulatory capacity to govern the sector for growth and increased revenue, economic opportunities and jobs for the youth.
His words: “in Nigeria today, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has as one of the strategic priorities in diversification of Nigerian economy’s revenue base from overdependence on oil, which historically has been her mainstay.”
He maintained, “we are now looking to grow other promising sectors such as mining and agriculture, adding that Nigeria’s minerals and mining sector is still underdeveloped despite its glorious past and abundance of mineral resources in the country.
There is no better time to have this workshop than now, diversification is at the heart of the government’s agenda and Nigeria is sitting on unearthed wealth. We must make the earth work for us in a sustainable manner,” he added.
Earlier, the Australian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Paul Lehmann had said the workshop would promote and share knowledge that would lead to Nigeria being one of the most attractive investments countries for mineral and energy resources.
Lehmann also hinted that it would encourage discussions and debates among participants, particularly on the potentials for adaption and adoption to African environment and build a sustainable mining sector in Nigeria.