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Alake call for local value addition in mineral sector

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By Victoria Onehi

The Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake  has canvassed for legislative support that will entrench local value addition in the mineral sector, asserting that it will generate massive employment and beneficiation to mineral endowed communities.  

Alake disclosed this yesterday during the visit of the House Committee on Solid Minerals led by its Chairman, Honourable Jonathan Gbefwi to the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development in Abuja.

Speaking on the recent activities and programmes of the Ministry, the Minister explained that value addition and mineral processing is a key point of the Ministry’s 7 point agenda. 

In a statement by the Deputy Director Information and PR Alaba R. Balogun,the Minister said value addition offers  enormous benefits to a mineral endowed country like Nigeria by providing jobs and maximising natural resources.

He alluded to his recent  successful promotional tours to mining conferences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Cape Town, South Africa; to canvass for local value addition.

Continuing, Dr Alake informed House Committee members that the campaign led to the coalition that gave rise to the African Minerals Strategy Group ( AMSG) and his  unanimous election as  it’s pioneer Chairman.

 ”The era of carting away solid minerals without commensurate value addition is over,” he said.

The Minister further  emphasised  the primacy  and centrality of security to achieving economic development in the country  citing the recent meeting of the Presidential Inter-Ministerial Committee on securing our natural resources and the launch of a new security outifit by the Interior Minister, using the Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps to combat illegal mining.

”It cannot be overstated that security is a national issue, securing lives and property before business is paramount in our seven point agenda” the Minister asserted.

Commenting on the existing relationship, Dr Alake said:  ” I have had very robust relationship with the leader of this Committee, robust engagement: that is why I view your visit today with all sense of propriety: with the warm relationship, support is accorded and together we achieve our stated goals”.

Speaking, the Chairman House Committee on Solid Minerals, Hon Jonathan Gbefwi asserted that the visit to the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development fulfills  its oversight duty. ”We are empowered  by the Constitution to do oversight, to ensure the executive perform its duty. We intend to stretch to the limit.’ the Chairman stated.

Elaborating, Honourable Gbefwi said the importance of the mineral sector to the economy cannot be overemphasized. It is the only sector that can rescue Nigeria from its economic doldrum”. The Committee, he continued, will do all that is needed to  support the Ministry of  Solid Minerals Development to bring the sector to its glorious heights.”

Delivering vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary Dr. Mary Ogbe stated that the collaborative efforts between the House Committee and the Ministry reflect a shared commitment to harnessing the nation’s mineral resources for economic development and Diversification.

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