“For the past three months, we have been doing everything possible to ensure we make progress and we are happy to let the nation know that the president has given us full backing in this assignment.
“The support given by the president includes political backing to ensure that Ajaokuta works and by the grace of God it will work soon.”
These were the words of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, in an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja on the proposed Nigerian solid minerals downstream workshop scheduled to hold on December 2.
The minister who spoke through his Special Adviser on Special Duty, Sunny Ekozin said that part of the directives by Buhari was for the sector to solve long intractable problems bedeviling the solid minerals and to ensure that Nigeria relies on the sector to diversify its economy.
He said that after articulating the problems for the past three months, the administration is on the path to harnessing the potentials that abound in the minerals sector for the benefit of the people in the country.
Adegbite explained that one of the steps taken was the current process of developing the Nigerian Downstream Mineral Policy, saying that the policy is first of its kind in the history of the country.
“The downstream mineral policy will trigger the nation with a clear diversification blueprint in a sustainable manner, especially for the revamping of Ajaokuta steel company.
“And also effective harnessing of the abundant minerals endowment spread across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).”
“As part of the process leading to the revamping of the entire solid minerals sector, we are sensitising key stakeholders, especially large investors of this novel initiative for the development of solid mineral downstream value chains.
“This will help to create massive jobs, wealth and industrialisation.
Adegbite added that the ministry was determined and committed to ensuring that the president’s mandate was realised within the next three years.
He said that the present government would stem the exports of jobs and wealth by unwittingly exporting 35 million of unprocessed mineral products annually.
The minister pledged to open the sector to genuine indigenous and foreign investors to actively participate in the downstream licensing of mineral plants. (NAN)