“I am quite optimistic that if the right steps are taken and the current momentum is sustained, the solid minerals sector in Nigeria can contribute up to 3% of GDP by 2025 as predicted in the current roadmap, up from a current contribution of just about 0.5%.” This is according to Cyril Azobu, Advisory Partner and Mining Leader at PwC Nigeria. He adds: “my vision for the sector is one that is profitable to all stakeholders and in which the Nigerian people are able to enjoy the maximum benefits possible for these natural endowments.“
The upcoming Nigeria Mining Week, which is taking place again in Abuja from 16-19 October, is a successful partnership between PwC, the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) and event organisers Spintelligent. This high-level, strategic mining investment platform will link investors, project developers, financiers, technology providers and government to share best practices and demonstrate the latest strategies to evolve the sector successfully.
New roadmap for the sector
According to Mr Azobu, several important developments in the Nigerian mining sector in the last year bode well for the industry’s future: “perhaps the most significant is the approval in August 2016 of a new roadmap for the sector by the government. This very important policy document has really set the tone for the development of the sector. Following from this, we have seen the constitution of the Mining Implementation and Strategy team whose duty is to co-ordinate the implementation of the roadmap and program manage its execution.”
He adds: “furthermore, the Federal Government also approved a N30bn Mining Intervention Fund. A significant proportion of the fund has gone into data gathering and a part of it is to go into capacity building for artisanal miners. We are also seeing the Federal Government making efforts to take advantage of some strategic minerals such as Steel and Bitumen but all of these are still in the early stages.”
Attracting more investment for the sector
Recently, the Board of the Solid Minerals Development Fund was inaugurated by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. The PwC Nigeria Advisory Partner and Mining Leader explains: “this board has the mandate to restructure and operationalise the fund by designing the appropriate governance structure, organisation, strategies and operations for effective management. This development will help establish a governance and financial structure and attract more investment for the sector. “
Another strong sign of an industry getting its house in order is the Federal Government inaugurating the Development Partner and Donor Agencies Coordination Group on Mining. The forum is expected to serve as a platform where development partners and donor agencies such as the World Bank, DFID, UNDP and the likes, meet to review, coordinate and synergise their programs with the aim of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of assistance provided to the mining sector.
Issue of illegal mining
According to Mr Azobu there has also been some effort to tackle the issue of illegal mining through the establishment of the Mines Police Division. He expands: “this unit comprising the Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) will work with all the state mines offices to carry out surveillance of mining sites to achieve sanity, safety of lives and compliance of laid down procedures and environmental standard requirements.”
He says “we are also beginning to see better collaboration between the Federal Government and the States with a few states increasingly taking advantage of this to develop their solid minerals sector and grow their internally generated revenue (IGR). We also know that states now earn 13% derivation from solid minerals revenues.”
Beyond Nigerian shores: “the Federal Government has also indicated its intention to harmonize the current roadmap with the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) such that Nigeria’s strategy aligns with the wider African vision and that the AMV’s ideals are domesticated in Nigeria.”
On the agenda at Nigeria Mining Week 2017, including new features, include:
As with previous years, the Nigeria Mining Week is enjoying strong support from the industry with early confirmed sponsorships from Palladium Mining Limited, SBOG, Congo Energy Solutions, Kian Smith Trade & Co, Minelab and Wilbahi.
The Nigeria Mining Week is organised by the Miners Association of Nigeria in partnership with Spintelligent and PwC Nigeria. Spintelligent is a well-known trade conference and expo organiser on the continent. The company has particular expertise and experience in mining and infrastructure development events; including the long running flagship shows such as DRC Mining Week in Lubumbashi, the Kenya Mining Forum in Nairobi and African Utility Week in Cape Town.
Nigeria Mining Week dates and location:
Pre-conference: 16 October 2017
Conference: 17-18 October 2017
Site visit: 19 October 2017
Venue: Nigerian Air Force Conference Center, Abuja, Nigeria