Industrialisation: Society urges development of iron, steel sector

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By Martha Agas

The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) has called for the optimal development of the iron and steel sector to expedite Nigeria`s industrialisation.

The call was made in a communique issued at the end of its 59th Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) held in Jos from March 17 to March 22.

The theme of the conference was `’Emerging Global Perspectives, Trends and Sustainable Development of Minerals and Energy Resources.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the communique, signed by the NMGS President, Prof. Akinade Olatunji.

The society described the iron and steel sector as critical for bolstering Nigeria`s industrialisation, and therefore, needed to be fully developed to have positive impact on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

It noted that mining operations in Nigeria were predominantly artisanal and small-scale, providing a source of livelihood for more than one million people.

It emphasised that unlocking the wealth creation potential of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) required a multifaceted approach focused on addressing governance, capacity building, market access, technology, finance, community engagement, and environmental management.

According to the communique, there is a need for extensive exploration of the Inland/Frontier Basins and the deep Niger Delta.

This, it said was necessary for the current Oil and Gas sector to improve from its current hydrocarbon reserves, which stood at 37.1 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves and 202 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The document also noted that the wealth creation potential of the industrial minerals and gemstone industries was limited by poor skill development, inadequate funding, and environmental and social challenges.

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The society stated that there was a need to implement a mineral governance structure with supportive policies, along with the inclusion of all stakeholders, to foster socio-economic development, environmental sustainability, and cooperation in ASM-dependent communities.

It called for the establishment of commercial intervention strategy that facilitated easy market access, provided trade platforms, encouraged financial inclusion and ensured the elimination of collateral issues that impeded access to funds.

“There is the need for an extensive exploration of Nigerian Inland/Frontier Basins and Deep Niger Delta, while encouraging synergy between active players and the academia.

“Capacity building at all levels, research and development and value chain training should be encouraged.

“Implementation of policies aimed at value chain addition in the minerals and energy sectors to boost wealth creation and increases GDP.

“Career advancement, skill and entrepreneurship development specific to the geosciences and mining practices are critical,” it said.

The society called for the adoption and application of innovations in information technology to develop resource management strategies.

NAN reports that more than 1,600 participants, drawn from government ministries, departments and agencies, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, academia, students, and other stakeholders were in attendance.

Activities at the conference included business and technical sessions on topics in innovations in the geo sciences sector.

The presentations included: Enabling African Geodata; Opportunities and Challenges in Renewable Energy Potential of Nigeria, and Opportunities in the industrial minerals and Gemstone sector among others. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Abiemwense Moru

 

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