Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite has revealed that all the six (6) geopolitical zones of the country are benefitting from the Nigerian Mining Industry Roadmap.
According to the minister, an international gem stone market is fully operational in Ibadan, Oyo State (South-West); just as Bauchi State (North-East) has a Kaolin Processing Plant while Kano State (North-West) houses a Gold Souk.
Speaking on the topic: Understanding the Mining Sector, at the J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium of the University of Lagos, Architect Adegbite said Ebonyi State (South-East) hosts a Lead Ingot, Kogi State (North-Central) has a Gold-smelting Plant while Cross-River State (South-South) has a Baryte Producing Plant.
All the six companies, according to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development are dividends of the Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Industry signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016.
Architect Adegbite who was the Guest Speaker at the Special Lecture organised by the Faculty of Science, UNILAG on Friday, May 5, 2023, recalled the challenges which bedevilled the sector before President Buhari’s administration. These challenges include inadequate data, low technology utilization and productivity, infrastructural deficit, illegal mining and its attendant consequences, institutional weakness and poor funding, among others.
The minister, who is a thorough-bred alumnus of UNILAG, took the entire gathering through the history, evolution, departments, functions and activities of the Nigerian Mining and Steel Development sector. He described the 2016 Nigerian Mining Industry Roadmap as imperative due to the need to rejuvenate the country’s solid mineral sector as well as harness the potential benefits inherent in a properly structured exploration of Nigeria’s 44 natural deposits.
Arc. Adegbite listed Bitumen, Coal, Limestone, Lead/Zinc, Gold, Baryte and Iron ore as seven strategic solid minerals which the Nigerian government is paying close attention to, due to its huge potentials to drive national industrialization and development. He identified lithium, Cobalt, Graphite and Copper as solid minerals for the future.
The minister noted that the Nigerian mining sector, if well explored, will create jobs, provide solid minerals which would fuel industrialization and contribute, not less than 7% (seven percent) to national income before 2030.
In his remarks before and after the lecture, National President, UNILAG Alumni Association worldwide, Engineer Ifeoluwa Oyedele identified Nigeria as a country endowed with huge potentials both in natural deposits and human capacity.
Engr. Oyedele who served as the Chairman of the occasion identified the University of Lagos as a fertile ground where pacesetters across all fields of human endeavor are being raised.
He encouraged final-year students not to be dampened by the tales of harshness beyond the university walls but look inward and build on the culture of excellence which UNILAG stands for anywhere they find themselves.
In her welcoming remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, FAS, described the lecture as an opportunity to further enlighten students on the current realities and opportunities in the Nigerian mining space.
Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics and Research), Professor Bola Oboh, the Vice-Chancellor implored the participants to see the lecture as a clarion call to key into various opportunities in the mining sector.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite had earlier paid a courtesy visit to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor. During the visit, the Minister accompanied by the Dean of Faculty of Science … among others, recalled fond memories as a student and gave thumbs up to management for the serenity, cleanliness and aesthetic outlook of the University campus.
Arc. Adegbite holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (B.E.S. Arch), Master of Environmental Design (M.E.D.) and Master of Science in Construction Management (M.Sc. Constr. Mgt), all from the University of Lagos.