*Corporate stakeholders support First Northern Nigeria Solid Minerals Fair
About eight federal agencies and 12 state governments have confirmed their participation in the first Northern Nigeria Solid Minerals Fair and Workshop slated for Kaduna next week.
Corporate giants on board include Bank of Industries, Raw Materias Research and development council, Small and medium enterprises development agency, Nigeria Export Promotion council. The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development as well as the Ministry of Budget and National Planning have also signified support for the specialized fair.
The Fair, the first of its kind in the much solid minerals’ endowed north is scheduled to draw attention of relevant stakeholders to myriads of available opportunities in the sector.
In a bid to underscore the importance of the event, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, through its letter endorsing the event had expressed hope that it would be a forum to “showcase the products and services in Solid Minerals sector of Nigeria as a means of diversifying the nation’s economy, increase revenue, as well as create job opportunities.”
“The Ministry therefore endorses the event, in view of its importance to the change agenda in the Nation’s quest for transparency and accountability, particularly in the Solid Minerals sector,” the Ministry stated in a letter signed by Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, H. O. Davies.
Already the forum is attracting support from relevant agencies of government, among them; the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Small and Medium Enterprieses Development Agency of Nigeria, Bank of Industry and Raw Materials Research and Development Council among others.
Participants will be drawn from all the 19 northern states, and the FCT; relevant regulatory agencies, financial institutions, equipment manufacturers, private local and international investors and interested individuals.
Discussants in the thematic areas who are carefully drawn from the academic, government and experienced industry players, would lead participants to explore legal and regulatory frameworks, collaboration among three tiers of government, management, environment and finance; discussion will also touch on Technology/equipment: Geological studies to determine quantity and quality related to the sector.
Organisers of the event, the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture in collaboration with Proedge Limited stated that the fair would provide a platform for stakeholders to be kept abreast of the best practices in harnessing solid mineral deposits and minimising inherent hazards to individuals and communities.
It would also serve as avenue to energise states and local governments to organise and register artisanal miners operating in their domain to ensure safer mining environment and improved revenue; curb environmental degradation and unhealthy practices that characterise illegal mining in many local communities’ activities.
The forum would also be a rallying point for states and local governments to come up with templates to monitor, guide and support miners for optimal job creation and revenue enhancement.
In addition, it would provide opportunities for miners to learn the benefits of cooperatives, safer mining processes, equipment leasing and financial support from sundry government agencies for improved productivity and profitability.
They will learn, first-hand, the operation of government’s minerals buying centres across the country to ensure that minerals are properly priced and sold in a structured market setting as opposed to underground sales that had robbed both the local miners and the country of the expected financial gains.
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