Solid minerals capable of fetching Nigeria N5trillion annually, says Fayemi

Kayode Fayemi

Kayode Fayemi

Minister of solid Mineral Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has said that the Federal Government would not renege in its bid to diversify the nation’s economy saying, if properly harnessed, the solid mineral sector has the potential to fetch the nation about N5trillion annually. Fayemi, who delivered the third Chief {Dr.} John Agboola Odeyemi annual lecture at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun state yesterday, said his ministry in line with the agenda of the Federal government is working assiduously to realize this objective and have sought the cooperation of all stakeholders in the sector to attain success.

He said the economic reality and the global tumble in the oil sector has taught a great lesson and makes it more imperative for Nigeria to stop paying lip service to the development of other sectors to enable the country come out stronger and be on the path of sustainable development.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Harnessing Our Natural and Cultural Heritage for National Development”, at the Conference Centre and Guest Houses, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, he noted that Nigeria has resolved to adopt an aggressive approach to diversification of the economy but cautioned investors to moderate their expectation for quick returns within the context of the economic reality. He noted that the trend in which many states in the federation have to go to the federal government, cap in hand begging for funds, over their inability to pay salaries, suggested an urgent need for economic diversification.

He added that for several decades, policy makers and observers warned that the country’s continued dependence on oil as the mainstay of her economy was bound to jeopardize her long-term economic growth and development. The minister said the country now faces a future in which crude oil either ceases to be a strategic resource or one in which her status as a producer becomes irrelevant to her prospects for economic advancement within the international economic environment. Making case for solid minerals as alternative to crude oil,

Fayemi said President Mohammadu Buhari often said that he wants the sector to be a key source of economic growth and diversified revenue base for Nigeria. He said, “Indeed President Buhari has stated clearly that our goal is to build a more diversified economy in which oil remains important, but its share of the overall portfolio of revenue sources declines as the whole pie grows bigger”, Fayemi added. He expressed optimism saying major stakeholders in the solid minerals sector, the Association of Metal Exporters of Nigeria had stated that the country can generate at least N5 trillion annually from mining and exporting of its vast solid mineral deposits.

“This with several multiplier effects on job creation, state development and social infrastructure that could position the solid minerals sector as the main catalyst for national development”, the minister posited.

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