Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said development of the solid minerals sector holds the key to successful implementation of the Federal Government's economic diversification policy.
Represented by Director of Mines Environmental Compliance in the Ministry, Engr. Sallim Ade Salaam, at the First Northern Nigeria Solid Minerals Fair and Workshop going on at the Kaduna International Trade Fair Complex Fayemi said government is developing the sector to compliment revenue from the oil and gas sector.
Reeling out incentives for investors in the mining sector, the Minister said, "In order to achieve this, adequate regulatory frameworks and investment friendly policies have been put in place to attract genuine investments and fast track effectiveness in the sector.
"The states in the federation can also take advantage of the available opportunities in the solid minerals sector to create wealth through the formation of special purpose vehicles (SPV) or joint venture through public private partnership and obtain mineral titles to operate, extract, beneficiate and create jobs for the men and women in the states," he advised.
Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari praised the efforts of the organisers for creating the platform to promote the development and exploration of solid minerals.
Mr. Luka Abu, director, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, Kaduna, who represented the minister reminded the audience that Nigeria used to be the sixth producer of tin metal and columbite based on large tin ore exploration on the plateau and parts of Kaduna Bauchi, Nasarawa and Kogi states.
He lamented that the decline in this status was attributed to neglect in mining after the discovery of oil and gas as well as the indigenization decree of the 1970s which forced foreign miners out of the country.