The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for extra budgetary provision to help reposition the mines and steel industry.
He said the president also attracted a World Bank grant to the sector, adding that it was a giant stride toward revamping the industry.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is the only president that has provided extra budgetary funding for the sector.
“He did this in two ways. He gave N30 billion which at that time in 2017 was a 100 million dollars.
“Not just that, he also supported the sector through a World Bank facility with 150 million dollars, which is a total of 250 million dollars,” he said.
Adegbite said the funds were put to good use, adding that one of such was the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP).
According to him, the project helps to provide verifiable data that has put the sector on another pedestal.
He said with the various interventions of government people were beginning to reckon with Nigeria as a mining destination.
The minister said a lot of foreign investment was coming into the mining space, thereby, creating jobs and wealth for the people.
On why the sector had not reached its full potential in spite of the huge mineral deposits in the country, Adegbite said reliance on oil and gas was largely responsible.
He, however, said the diversification drive of the present administration was reversing all of that.
‘The diversification work by this administration started in earnest from 2015, but I must say that since I came on board in 2019, we have done so much more.
“We have been able to create the right awareness by proclaimimg that Nigeria has joined the league of mining nations,” he said.
The minister assured Nigerians of government’s continued commitment to revamping the sector.