NES26 Pre-Summit Event: The “New Normal” - Opportunities for the Nigerian Mining Industry
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Environment held a Pre-#NES26 event with the theme “The “New Normal” - Opportunities for the Nigerian Mining Industry” on the 17th of September 2020. The event which is among a series of pre- 26th Nigerian Economic Summit events will help to shape strategic partnerships to chart a path to recovery, and build resilience for the country’s economy, businesses and households by delivering conversations that will put Nigeria in a strong position within the changing world order.
The CEO of the NESG, Mr. ‘Laoye Jaiyeola while delivering the welcome remarks said that the lockdown instituted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected demand and supply in the Mining industry which still remains pivotal to economic development across the world. He stated that Nigeria’s Mining industry has the potential to provide jobs and trigger widescale infrastructural development. He reiterated the need for Nigeria to take a critical look at current practices in the mining and create a sustainable path for growth.
While delivering the keynote address, the Honourable Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite revealed that a lot of countries have leveraged and developed their mining industry and that Nigeria should take advantage of the opportunities presented by the sector. The Honourable minister stated that Nigeria’s mining industry can supply minerals used in production of mobile phones, batteries and a wide range of gadgets and that the industry can help address the country’s huge infrastructure deficit. “We can’t afford to overlook the opportunities in the mining industry. On-going reforms in the sector are geared towards revamping the sector and the reforms will help improve and serve both the domestic and export market. Our roadmap is focused on strengthening our geo-science base, data accessibility for investors, data gathering, data dissemination and archiving.” Architect Adegbite stated.
The Deputy Chief of Staff to Osun state Governor, Mr Adeyanju Abdullah Binuyo revealed that Osun state continues to find ways to encourage the federal government to fully integrate the states in the process of legislation. He stated that Osun state is creating cut out zones for processing and integration of the small-scale artisanal miners with large scale miners for effective collaboration to aid the sector; and that the state envisions a process where the federal government deliberates with the state government before issuing mining licenses to ease the issues miners face with the state and the communities they operate in.
Prof. Zacheus Opafunso Registrar, Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG) said there are a lot of patents that came out of research from universities that are not utilized and that there is a need for synergy between academia, regulatory agencies and industries. He mentioned that the Nigerian curriculum and laboratories are outdated and that the gap created by this can be filled through the provision of intervention fund to the extractive industry sector, provision of funds and loans for equipment hiring and creating a mineral reporting standard.
Managing Director, Kogi Iron Limited, Mr. David Turvey mentioned the need for policy stability and foreign investment that matches with local investments to fill the employment gap in Nigeria and that there has to be efficient roads, rail and ports for the movement of bulk extractive minerals and overall development of the mining industry.
Mr. Bartholomew Tarlumun Feese Lead Consultant, People Centered Development Initiative (PCDI) revealed that mining has a serious impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and has an effect on land, water, climate change and the economic sector. He mentioned the need to provide social safety nets and distributing policies to address gender imbalance, that will help to uplift the vulnerable groups among the mining community. Also, Research Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Ms. Laura Ani while answering questions from participants said that one of the goals of the African Mining Vision (AMV) is to foster innovation and encourage industrialization of the mining sector.
The permanent secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Edet Akpan while giving the closing remarks said that the ministry is involved in a number of developments including increasing private sector investment in the mining sector and a digital archiving collation system that is being championed by the Nigeria Geological survey agency to aid the development of the mining industry.
The 26th Nigerian Economic Summit will be the highpoint of a ‘Big Conversation for Action’ driven by pre-Summit events. These virtual events will kickstart discussions on this year’s Summit Theme and will enable us convene a wider range of stakeholders to deliberate on a broad set of thematic and sectoral issues with key outcomes.
The theme of this year’s Summit is “Building Partnerships for Resilience” and it is scheduled to hold from October 26 – 27, 2020. Discussions at NES #26 will be anchored on three pillars – Collaboration, Execution and Impact – and dimensioned across five sub-themes: Mapping the Future; New Trends, New Opportunities, New Horizons; Embracing Technology and Innovation; Building Resilience and Charting the Path to Recovery.