The President of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Alh Sani Shehu, describeDd the second edition of the Nigeria Mining Week conference and exhibition that took place in Abuja as a landmark achievement and encouragement for the mining sector.
“The participation of about 14 nations is an illustration of the desire of global players, service and technology providers to go beyond their shores and tap into the minerals-rich soil of Nigeria,” said Shehu.
The event was attended by over 700 mining professionals and decision makers, including the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, various Permanent Secretaries and the Governor of Taraba State,Darius Dickson Ishaku.
The exhibition saw some 23 leading local and global industry leaders showcase their products and services while 476 visitors were able to take advantage of the free technical workshop programme to grow artisanal and small-scale operations with an A to Z mining toolkit. More than 80 mining houses were represented at the high-level strategic conference during which the challenges and opportunities of the Nigerian mining sector were unpacked; these include access to finance, how to improve investor confidence and efficiencies in obtaining mining licences as well as the lack of infrastructure.
Mines and Steel Development Minister Dr Kayode Fayemi said during his opening keynote address that according to a recently released World Risk Report, Nigeria had made remarkable improvements in both hard risk and perceived risk factors.
“The Nigerian Mining Jurisdiction is now considered to have a better investment risk profile than Russia, China, India and several other leading jurisdictions. Nigeria is now ‘perceived’ to have a better investment risk profile than New York,” said Dr Fayemi.
“Overall, the results of the improvement in Brand Nigeria in the international mining space, has increased mining-related activity in Nigeria with growing interest and several new entrants.”
Uyi Akpata, PwC Nigeria Country Senior Partner reiterated traced the firm’s early efforts in gathering stakeholders in the sector which has led to the emergence of the Nigeria Mining Week.
“Our support for the development of this sector is in line with our purpose, which is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We identify the potential of this sector in diversifying the revenue base of government and creating opportunities for our people and we know that government cannot achieve it alone. We are in this for the long term and will continue to support and build capacity in the sector,” said Akpata.