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The Federal Government will build a world class solid mineral sector and unlock its full potential as the Ministry of Solid Minerals focuses on strategic agenda to enhance the diversification of economy.
The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi, expressed the view during the sectoral debate organised by the House of Representatives in Abuja on Tuesday.
Fayemi explained that the agenda, recently articulated in a draft roadmap, would guide how to grow the industry over the next two decades.
According to him, the ministry’s aspiration is to build a world class minerals and mining ecosystem designed to serve a targeted domestic and export market for minerals.
“We will achieve this by focusing on Nigeria’s minerals, mining and related processing industry over a three phase period.
“Nigeria will seek to rebuild market confidence in its minerals and mining sector and win over domestic users of industrial minerals that are currently imported.
” During this phase, Nigeria will also seek to expand use of its energy minerals; this phase will likely last about two to three years.
” Nigeria will focus on expanding domestic ore and mineral asset processing industry. This phase will last about five to 10 years,’ he said.
The minister said Nigeria should seek to return to global ore and mineral markets at a market competitive price point.
He said that the ministry intended to win by building a minerals and mining sector initially focused on using industrial mineral endowment to support industrialisation.
Fayemi said government policy should seek to support private industries by building overall competitiveness, such as quality, price, loss ratios and improving the ease of doing business.
He said Nigeria should seek to create domestic demand by competing to replace ores and minerals currently imported.
He said that overtime; Nigeria should seek to build a cost led sector as well as production expertise in select non-industrial minerals with an expansion in domestic processing.
Fayemi said the ministry would work alongside the private sector, other Ministries, Departments and Agencies and in partnership with the legislative branch.
“We will facilitate investment in a range of enablers, including bulk handling terminals, railroad and rolling stock capacity, technical and engineering capacity, regulatory reform, reorganisation of the ministry itself.