FG To Develop New Framework For Solid Minerals, Steel Production
The Minister of State, for Mines, Steel and Development, Dr. Uche Ogah, has expressed the desire of the federal government to develop new sectorial framework for the mining of solid minerals and improvement in steel production in the country.
Ogah, who disclosed this in Lagos at the weekend, during a thanksgiving service at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathederal, said the ministry would begin its work by examining the roadmap on solid minerals drawn by the predecessors.
He explained that the desire of the present leadership of the ministry was to unlock opportunities and potential abound in the sector.
He added that much needed to be done especially in identifying some of the leakages, and putting in place the necessary legal frameworks, and make it easy for people to have licenses.
According to him, “Government has spent so much to get the fiscal surveyor for the nation to ensure the deposit of minerals, which will help investors to come in because more investments will be brought into the country through solid minerals.
“Like I stated earlier, we will block some of the leakages so that whatever mines and solid minerals that are going out from Nigeria, can be easily trapped through the airport and seaport. We will make sure that people pay the right royalty for whatever they are taking out of the country. From the roadmap, there are seven key mineral resources that have been identified such as limestone, diamond, bitumen, and others.
“We will look at bitumen, a lot has been talked about it, but not much has been done, so we will expand the scope. We will bring foreign direct investors and private sector players into the sector to develop it.
“The steel industry is still in the infancy stage. It is the only industry that can help increase industrialisation and the country’s infrastructural needs. If the steel industry is properly positioned, we will gain a lot especially in rail transport and building of bridges. There is a lot to be done, but we need to develop a framework and policy statement in the steel industry.
“One of the things we are looking at is the Ajaokuta Steel Company and some of the legal issues surrounding the company. We are also looking at iron ore, because we need to tie all of them together and unbundle the legal issues surrounding the Ajaokuta steel and once that is done, we can bring investors who can help unlock the potentials in the sector.”