MINING SITE. 2By Musa Mahmud 

Lack of functional buying centres to ease trading of solid mineral products across the country has been described as one of the major challenges to relevant stakeholders in the mining industry.

This was contained in a statement issued at a 3-Day Sensitization Workshop organized for relevant stakeholders jointly signed by Ngubdo M.Ali and Fatima Ibrahim Maikore, Principal Geologists of the Department of Investment Promotion and Mineral Trade in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

The statement reveals that stakeholders are also finding it difficult to access loans from financial institutions for mining projects, adding that there are inadequate training and retraining opportunities available to miners and stakeholders in the fields of mining nationwide.

The statement also hammers on the need for the ministry to improve significantly in the area of sensitization and enlightenment of stakeholders from the ministry on the update of its programmes in order to improve the development of solid minerals in all the states of the federation where mining activities takes place.

It further explained that the objectives of the workshop was to sensitize stakeholders and operators in the mining sector on the ministry’s policies, aims and goals as it affects mineral trade and investment.

The workshop also enlightens the stakeholders and mining host communities on mineral investment, available opportunities and to foster business cooperation on solid mineral production, mining and sales as well as presented to stakeholders various regulations and obligations for trade and investment in Nigeria mining sector.

The workshop which was attended by over 20 participants from states in the North Central geopolitical zone includes the D.G Niger State Commodity and Export Promotion Council,

President of the Niger State Miners Association and his deputy, D.G Niger state Chamber of Commerce, members of the states ministry of solid minerals, directors of relevant government agencies, artisans, small scale miners and interested groups also participated at the workshop.

Stakeholders at the event were also intimated about the ongoing programmes in which loans are obtainable to miners after processing their forms from the ministry, adding that plans were on by the ministry to boost the effectiveness of the available mineral buying centres in the country.

Recommendations at the workshop included urgent needs for the establishment and improvement of mineral buying centres, needs for the creation of zonal mining clusters in the six geo-political zones of the federation for the purposes of purely mining business transactions between government, miners, investors and mineral traders.   

The statement also called for a stronger partnership with Miners’ Association of Nigeria and the ministry in every aspect of mining proposal and engagement. That law be enacted to coordinate the selling of solid minerals in Nigeria and the need for the engagement of local engineers to work with miners at the mining sites.

That as the public relations unit is within the scope of the Department of Investment Promotion and Mineral Trade, there is the need for them to be engaged in national and international advertising of the country’s abundant mineral resources and trade especially during this era of Covid-19 where both local and international trades were restricted.