Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, has re-emphasised the need for capacity building in solid minerals and engineering sectors, to enhance Nigeria’s development.
Adegbite spoke in Abuja, when the management of Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), paid him a visit, noted that enhanced human capital, was key to developing the sectors.
He said that a situation where repairs and certification of minerals, were taken to South Africa, was not in the best interest of the country.
“Every time they want to repair one small equipment or do certification, they take it to South Africa; this is not good for us as a nation.
“Let us acquire the competence, and if it is going to cost us money, let us send people there to go and learn.
“We need to do more, not just to train people theoretically, but train people who can apply knowledge and be useful to society,’’ the minister said.
Recalling his visit to the Council of Nigeria Mining Engineers and Geoscientist (COMEG), on Nov. 12, Adegbite said there was need for the council to change its current operational base.
While decrying the situation in COMEG, he said his office did not speak well of the council that regulated engineering practice in the country.
Adegbite assured his guests that government would work to provide a better working environment for the council to enhance its operations; and would speed up the process of appointing a substantive registrar to manage its affairs.
He said that the ministry was open and willing to learn where necessary; and be criticised constructively.
According to Adegbite, the solid minerals sector would help to reverse the trend because of its capacity to bring many people on board, create jobs and earn revenue for government.
Speaking at the meeting, Prof. Debora Ajakaye, the 9th president of NSGS in 1977, stressed the need for capacity building, adding that human resource was the greatest resource of any nation.
Earlier, Mr Obadiah Ikom, NGSA President, said the sector played a key role because it was the future of the country and the world at large.
Ikom pledged that the agency would collaborate with the minister and support him to ensure he succeeded in delivering his mandate.
He commended the minister`s foresight and government’s desire to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company.
Ikom said that having a permanent registrar for COMEG would facilitate its operations and address the issues of quacks in the engineering sector.