FG plans mining firm, to push gold, six minerals for revenue – Dele Alake

The Ministry of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, says the Federal Government plans to establish a Solid Minerals Corporation, which will be a state-backed company, to manage its minerals and provide funding in the mining sector.

Alake, through the Deputy Director of Press in the Ministry, Alaba Balogun, lamented the lack of access to funding for mining operators during the unveiling of the ‘Agenda for the Transformation of the Solid Minerals for International Competitiveness and Domestic Prosperity’, in Abuja on Sunday.

Alake said, “Mining is big business. Nigeria must assert its presence in this environment by replicating its strategic positioning in the petroleum sector by setting up a corporate body that plays in this field.”

“Consequently, the ministry shall work towards the incorporation of the Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation.

“This is a corporate body that will have subsidiaries doing business in the seven priority areas that require immediate intervention and focus: gold, coal, limestone, bitumen, lead, iron-ore and barite.

“Existing enterprises such as the National Iron-Ore Company, and ongoing arrangements, such as the Bitumen Concessioning Programme, will be reviewed to fit into this new system.

“The proposed corporation will seek and secure partnership investment agreements with big multinational companies worldwide to leverage the attractive investment-friendly regime operating in the country to secure massive foreign direct investment for the mining sector.

“The positioning of the national corporation as a guarantor and protector of the partnership agreements is expected to assure partners of our seriousness and fidelity.

He said solid minerals corporation will provide robust support for Nigerian businessmen seeking funding abroad and help to authenticate their investment proposals to speed up the commitment of their partners to invest.

“Domestically, the solid minerals corporation will engage the Nigerian financial system, which has demonstrated palpable reluctance to support mineral prospecting and mining because of the long-term gestation of value generation by developing a Fund to facilitate investments in mining at interest rates that will be mutually agreed.

The Minister said his ministry seeks to add 50% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) from solid minerals.

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