Investment in solid minerals will boost FX inflow, job creation – Minister

Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shuaibu Audu, says the Federal Government will enforce the processing of industrial raw materials locally to boost foreign exchange inflow and enhance job creation.

Addressing the 2nd edition of the Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit on Tuesday in Abuja, Audu said some pathways had been suggested that transition metals could be produced locally with requisite value addition.

He said such pathways included enforcing the processing of raw materials locally.

“Government will provide an environment conducive to investments in minerals processing plants across the country.

“This will ensure FOREX proliferation and creation of jobs for skilled and unskilled workers in the mining sector.

“We must improve promotional activities for specific minerals; we must build on several on-going initiatives to grow Nigeria’s mining sector.

“Local and global promotion needs to be intensified on lithium, gold, limestone, among others to attract investments into the sector,’’ he said.

The minister said the government would also invest in exploration of bankable data for mining.

“Government will encourage investments in the determination of large volumes and deposits of transition metals.

“We need to secure the mining environment; ensuring a secure environment through enhanced security initiatives remains one of the matters that require urgent attention.

“We need to establish host communities mineral development fund.

“This will address the challenges investors usually encounter with local communities on ownership of mineral deposits,’’ he said.

Audu noted that Nigeria’s journey in the mining sector had been both transformative and evolutionary.

According to him, as Nigeria stands at the cusp of a new era, the pursuit of value addition becomes paramount, particularly in the realm of transition metals.

“The demand for these metals, crucial in the development of green technologies, has surged globally.

“Africa’s potential to meet this demand is vast, yet largely untapped.

“The key lies not only in extracting these metals, but in harnessing our capabilities to produce and refine them locally.

“Doing so is an opportunity to foster economic growth, create jobs, and also maintain control over our resource value chain.

“By investing in domestic refining and production capabilities, we are adding value and also paving the way for sustainable development,’’’ the minister stressed.

He said collaboration between the Federal Government and sub-national governments, industry stakeholders, and investors was necessary to build a robust infrastructure, promote innovation, and instigate supportive policies that encouraged local value addition.

“Furthermore, it calls for a commitment to sustainability, incorporating responsible mining practices, and embracing environmentally-friendly production techniques to mitigate any adverse impact on the ecosystem.

“As the minister of steel development, I stand committed to supporting initiatives that foster the local production of transition metals.

“We are committed to a sustainable future that demands innovation and transformation in steel production, ensuring that our advancements align with global environmental standards,’’

Source: News Agency of Nigeria