The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, said President Muhammadu Buhari has projected mining and agriculture sectors for the diversification of the country’s economy.
The Minister stated this in Sokoto, during a courtesy call on Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State while on two-day sensitization visit to the state.
The Minister who was on two-day sensitization visit to the State harped on President Buhari believes in strengthening the country’s food security through using mineral resources to lay a sustainable foundation for industrialization.
Ogah said the President has mandated the ministry to amongst other things prioritize orderly and efficient development of the mining of seven priority minerals that include Coal, Bitumen, Limestone, Iron Ore, Barites, Gold and Lead in the mining sector roadmap.
Others roadmaps according to the Minister include; stamping out illegal mining and formalising artisanal and small-scale mining activities across the country, as well as collaboration with the private sector to create a large number of well-paying jobs for the teeming youths.
“The sensitization visit to Sokoto State is predicted on President Muhammadu Buhari’s government resolve to anchor his economy diversification agenda on two key sectors of mining and agriculture.”
He acknowledged that the position of Sokoto State in the mineral map of Nigeria is strategic owning to the state’s endowed with major minerals like Limestone, Gypsum, Iron Ore, Phosphate which are set to be effectively harnessed.
He further explained that the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency and National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, Kaduna, are currently studying the State’s Iron Ore deposits and other necessary raw materials to support Iron Steel industry in the country.
He urged the Governor to support tne ministry in its efforts to ensure the blockage of revenue leakages as the best to improve the 13 percent derivation feom the solid minerals revenue.
Responding, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal described the Minister’s visit as timely. He also said the State is in support of President Buhari’s agenda to diversify the nation’s economy through mining and agriculture sectors.
He added that the State is endowed with arable land and untapped mineral resources deposited in commercial quantity, adding that, about 85 percent of the citizens are involving in farming to ensure food security in the state.
The Governor however assured that the state is ready to welcome mining investors to the state for partnership, citing that the rapid growth and expansion of BUA Cement factory is a testimony of Sokoto is a friendly environment for investors.
Highlights of the first day visit was an interaction session held with stakeholders in the Mining industry operating in the State to brainstorm as well as getting feedback on the way to confront challenges facing the investors in the sector.