By Lubem Gena
As part of efforts to reposition the Mining industry and make it a money spinner for Nigeria, the President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Prince Adetokunbo Kayode has called for committed collaborative efforts by the government and the private sector.
“It is very important for us to emphasise that, the government should not see the private sector as a competitor but a collaborator. They should not be foes but friends in order to bring about the required synergy”, he said.
He made the call in Abuja during a virtual meeting of critical players in the sector which was organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) Mining Thematic Group that saw featured many stakeholders across the value chain areas.
The President said in realisation of the need to help the government, the ACCI have embarked on several initiatives that can be leveraged upon by the government.
According to him, through the instrumentality of the Chamber, the Gemstone Institute of Nigeria (GIN), Gemstones Miners and Marketers Association of Nigeria (GMMAN), Mineral Exchange Market (MINEX) and more importantly, the Business Entrepreneurial Skills and Technology (BEST) Centre which is the capacity building arm of the chamber.
While rolling out detail areas of collaborations, he said such should be made to come in forms of: definite mining industry strategy; define mining industrial sector; develop mining technology; determination of government support line after due consultation as well as design and designate funding strategy for the sector.
Prince Kayode stated that the support lines need not to come in a direct financial supply to beneficiaries but in the form of equipment leasing.
He further explained that the chamber has opened discussion with the Coalition of Northern States Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (CONSCCIMA) to establish atleast one mining company or project in each of the 19 states as a way of harnessing the value chain opportunities in the sector and create job opportunity s for the teaming populations.
Earlier in his opening address, the Minister of Mines and Steel, Arc. Alamilekan Adegbite explained that there are so many reforms in the sector and the benefits shall soon manifest themselves.
According to the Minister, artisan miners have been refocused and now linked with government licensed agent who serve as off-takers just as he emphasised that when Ajaokuta steel company bounces back, it will be a hub for feeding other steel rolling mills in the country with raw materials.