The federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to develop six solid minerals processing plants in the six geo-political zones of the country.
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, disclosed report and said the president gave the mandate to develop key solid minerals which are coal, bitumen, limestone, iron ore, gold and zinc among others.
Sustainable Development Goals
“We have started the process and through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we have been able to attract some funding and we are building six processing plants because what we discovered in the past is that people take our minerals,” said Sampson Ogah.
The minister observed that each ore has so many other components. However miners lose by selling it as one component, noting that the processing plant for the South South zone is being built in Cross River State. Governor Godwin Obaseki assured that his administration is committed to partnering with the federal government to come up with policies to improve the mining sector.
“This loophole must be closed. We have to work closely to check illegal mining. Once we legalise the operations and everybody understands the enforcement, from the state government to the local government, nobody will go into mining without proper authorisation,” he said.
Mining of minerals in Nigeria accounts for only 0.3% of its gross domestic product, due to the influence of its vast oil resources. The domestic mining industry is underdeveloped, leading to Nigeria having to import minerals that it could produce domestically, such as salt or iron ore.