The Chairman of Strides Group, Mr Moritz Abazie, has described the solid minerals sector as a key source of economic growth and diversified revenue base for Nigeria.
Abazie was quoted in a statement as saying in Lagos that the true potential of the vast majority of the nation’s mining assets had yet to be exploited, describing mineral resources as the bedrock for industrialisation.
According to him, mining offers Nigeria a potential for job creation, foreign exchange earnings, domestic production and consumption, tax revenue and diversification of the economy from dependence on oil.
He noted that unlocking the potential in the mining sector was an appropriate measure for actualising the transformation of the economy if the government was serious about diversification of the economy.
The oil and gas expert stated that prior to the nation’s oil boom, solid minerals contributed hugely to the economy and provided revenue for infrastructural development, adding that any government willing to achieve economic growth and infrastructural development must invest adequately into the sector.
Abazie said, “Prior to the oil boom, solid minerals contributed hugely to the economy and provided revenue for infrastructural development but since the discovery of oil, the whole dynamics changed, the sector was neglected. A lot of things have changed now; it will require a lot of investment to ensure the nation benefits from the sector.
“We need to put structures in place to make the sector attractive to investors. We need to give the sector the required attention. First, I don’t think that the sector has been positioned to make that kind of impact or provide that kind of revenue that we are looking at to be able to fund infrastructural development. It’s still a long way to go.”
According to him, for the sector to thrive, Nigeria must provide a transparent and workable regulatory and policy environment for a private sector-led mining sector.