President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government’s key policy objective of rejuvenating the mining sector is being realised as witnessed in the diversification of the economy and broadening of the country’s revenue base.
The president made the statement when he received the National Executive members of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday.
Buhari expressed delight with the ongoing formalisation of illegal mining as a way of curbing its implications on national security, revenue generation, the environment, health and safety of the citizens.
He said his administration had been vindicated in its assumption that the nation’s endowment in mineral resources, the mining and solid minerals sector had the potential to create employment, increase revenue and reduce poverty.
He attributed the successes recorded so far to the Federal Government’s policy of increasing budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and formalisation of illegal mining.
The president also identified the approval of funds from the Natural Resources Development Fund to support small miners; enhance capacity and human capital development as another factor responsible for the success recorded.
He noted that the strengthening of the regulatory framework, enhanced transparency in the licensing process and the ease of doing business played significant roles in the achievements recorded in the mining sector.
He pledged continued government support to the sector.
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, said favourable government policy in the sector had led to the activation of dormant mining licences, increase in earnings by the government and the prevalence of “mining prosperity” in the country.
According to him, the mining sector has never had it so good.
The President of the NMGS, Prof. Silas Dada, expressed gratitude to the president for being the first Nigerian leader to be honoured as the Society’s Grand Patron in person.
He commended the Federal Government for the “revitalisation and rejuvenation” of the mining sector from a “moribund and chaotic state, following years of neglect and abandonment”.
He with other members of the delegation conferred the honour on Buhari.