N30bn interventions by Buhari to revive solid mineral sector poor—Sanni
President of Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Shehu Sanni has argued that the challenges of taking the nation’s iron and steel sector away from poor performance are beyond what the about N30bn so far sunk by the current administration can do.
Making his presentation at the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) workshop, he said stakeholders in the mining industry are ready to increase investments in Nigeria’s mining sector, but the government must create a level playing ground with regulatory reforms and removal of security bottlenecks for operators.
He hailed the brief performance of the former Minister who is now the governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, saying an experienced expert like him is seriously needed back at the ministry.
In his submission, he averred that “What the sector needs is not N30 billion, but sustainable funding for a very long time. For instance a declaration can be made to say five per cent of the national budget should be set aside for the development of the solid mineral sector for the next 20 years and implement it properly. This is the kind of investment that would bring life into the sector.”
Sanni further decried that upon the huge potential of the sector, it is yet to be given the attention it deserves to change the narrative of the Nigerian economy, adding that the volume of iron ore alone can generate over $60 billion on yearly basis if well managed.
MAN president therefore called for what he described as conscious and deliberate action that is strategic and timeline based for the development of the sector.
He recalled that across the world, financing mining is a difficult task, stressing that in Africa it is even more difficult due to the fact that unlike crude oil, mining is a long haul and comes with a lot of risks for investors.