The Miners` Association of Nigeria (MAN), says challenges confronting miners in the country may be many, but they can be surmounted with the right political will and commitment by stakeholders.
Mr Dele Ayanleke, MAN’s National Secretary said this in Abuja on Friday, in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency .
Ayankele was speaking on challenges of miners in 2019 and prospects for 2020.
“There’s hardly any new challenge confronting mining operators that is different from the legacy. The challenges can however, be surmounted with the right political will on the side of government,’’ he said.
He listed challenges in the sector to include over-regulation and multiple taxation, non implementation of policies such as local content; as well as lack of provision of extension services for miners.
Other challenges he said included lack of access to funding, importation of locally available raw materials into the country, and inadequate geosciences data for good investment decisions among others.
Ayanleke stressed that there was need for government to do the needful to ensure effective mining operations in the country and to relax some of its mining policies to attract investors.
Applauding Federal Government`s decision to provide modern equipment for mining operators and operations in the country, Ayanleke said the association was however, yet to be briefed on the initiative.
NAN reports that Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, had said that the Federal Government was set to provide modern equipments for mining activities and miners in the country.
Adegbite made the disclosure when he visited Nasarawa State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Sule recently.
The minister while saying that the Federal Government was banking on the solid mineral sector to diversify the country’s economy, noted that there was need for stakeholders in the sector to be proactive.
This, he said, was critical to ensuring that the country’s solid mineral resources were effectively harnessed for national development.
The minister had also said that government had resolved to enact policies to help develop the downstream industries to add value to the country`s mineral resources, such as beneficiation, smelting and refining.
“For far too long, Nigeria has been unwittingly exporting wealth and employment by not adding value to our mineral sectors,’’ the minister said.
He noted that the dominance of China and other Asian countries in the Nigerian solid mineral sector had contributed little to the value chain in the sector.
“The raw minerals exported are used to produce consumer and industrial goods for sale in global markets at much higher prices than what’s paid for the raw materials.
“The export of raw natural resources is a legacy of colonialism in which countries were precluded from developing their own processing capacities in order to supply their motherland with cheap raw materials,’’ the minister said.
Edited by: Adeboye Ajayi/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore