Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, says getting indigenous investors to invest in mining will attract foreign investments into the sector.
The minister said this on Monday in Abuja, while briefing newsmen on the forthcoming meeting of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development (NCMMRD).
“When investors are coming into a country from outside, the first thing they look out for is what the local people are doing.
“If the locals are not putting their monies in a particular business, then it cannot be lucrative, basically, that is what foreign investors are looking out for.
“We must therefore, get local investors to come into the mines and steel sector if we must get foreign investors,’’ the minister said.
According to him, foreign investors will be rest assured that mining in the country is lucrative if they see local investors investing their monies in the sector.
The meeting is scheduled to hold between Nov. 6 and Nov. 8 in Ado-Ekiti.
The theme of the meeting is: “Nigeria Minerals and Metals Sector: Spectrum for Investment Opportunities for Economic Growth and Development’’.
He said that convincing indigenous investors to invest in the sector would be the focus of the meeting.
Adegbite said that it was not a coincidence that the meeting would be hosted by the Ekiti State Government, given that governor Kayode Fayemi was the immediate past Minister of Mines and Steel Development.
He noted that as governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Fayemi would be able to convince his colleagues to abide by the country`s mining regulations.
The minister noted that because of the states government`s eagerness to deliver democracy dividends to the people, they engaged in mining, most times without following government policies and regulations.
“We are saying that rather than do it the way they are doing it, the law has allowed them to form companies and they can go into partnership to do mining.
“The ministry through the Mining Cadastral Office is willing to assist states governments obtain license for exploration,’’ he said.
He added that government would avail members of the public the spectrum of investment opportunities and economy growth in the steel and mining sector at the meeting.
According to the minister, the essence of the meeting is to bring stakeholders together to discuss issues and come up with policies that will help enhance the sector.