The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, says the ministry is making efforts to put Nigerian mining sector back on the world mining map.
Mr Adegbite made this known during Pre-event of the 5th edition of the Nigeria Mining Week on Friday in Abuja.
The Nigeria mining week digital event will hold from October 12 to 16.
The annual gathering is aimed at providing support for the development of the local workforce and the mechanisation of the industry and to facilitate dialogue between private and public sector across the value chain.
Mr Adegbite said that the ministry had been showcasing the potential of the sector to the world to bring back its lost glory.
“I have been on few roadshows ever since I assumed office to promote the sector’s potential; the world now recognises Nigeria as a mining country,” he said.
He said that the upcoming mining week would avail audiences all over the world the opportunity to connect to the event virtually and bid for cadastre to exploit available minerals.
He said that no fewer than 2,000 participants from all over the world would participate in this year’s mining week online, adding that there would be interaction, workshops, question and answer and among others during the event.
He said that this year’s mining week would have been a special event, adding that it was earlier planned to hold at the conference centre.
He said that the ministry had put in place enough measures to ensure the event would be hitch free, calling on all interested participants to equip gadgets such as computers and phones with enough bandwidth to connect to the event.
On Zamfara government buying gold from its local miners, the minister said that the plan was quite commendable and it was in right direction.
He said: “The governor discovered that bandits were buying the minerals from artisanal miners; the artisanal miners were selling gold to bandits at a cheap rate, which the bandits were enjoying.
“I met with the governor to correct the impression that the gold does not belong to the state as the governor portrait it but it belongs to the Federal Government.
“All mineral resources in Nigeria belong to the Federal Government; mineral resources in the country are on the exclusive list.
“Anybody, private company can buy any mineral they want, people are free to buy mineral of their choice at any mineral buying centres established across the country as far they meet the criteria attached.”
The President, Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, Kabir Kankara, said that the programme that started five years ago was to showcase and promote the abundant minerals available in Nigeria to the world.
Mr Kankara said there was nothing like diversification agenda on Nigerian economy through the mining sector five years ago but the mining week events had been able to connect Nigeria to other mining countries.
“We have learnt a lot through this programme from South Africa on mining and from other mining countries; we are making headway to level up with other mining countries.’’
The Head, PriceWater Coopers, PwC, Habeeb Jaiyeola, in Nigeria said that the mining week had promoted the country’s minerals since the inceptions of the mining week event, adding that it had connected Nigeria to other mining destination countries.
He said that since the mining week started, many countries had developed interest to investing in the Nigerian mining industry.