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Alexander Okere, Benin
The Federal Government on Sunday said that over $25bn could be generated from the mining sub-sector of Nigeria’s economy when properly harnessed with continuous investments.
The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said this at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Okpella Cement Plc by Dangote Group. The cement plant is valued at over $1bn, with six million metric tonnes per annum capacity in Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.
At the ceremony were the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi; Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje; a former governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo; a former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba; and the Chairman of Forte Oil, Chief Femi Otedola.
Fayemi, who lamented that only 0.34 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product comes from the mining industry, hinted of plans by the Federal Government to meet with the 36 state governors to fashion out strategies to make land accessible to investors in the mining industry.
“Today, mining represents 0.34 per cent of our total gross domestic product. If more entrepreneurs pursue the example we have seen here today, mining will directly and indirectly contribute over $25bn or N5tn to our national economy by the year. That will mean new jobs for everyone.
“It will mean more tax revenue for host states such as Edo. For the Federal Government, it will mean more local content development. It will mean a greater level of industrial sophistication for our economy. It will mean less reliance on oil for our survival and it will mean greater conservation for our foreign exchange in the country,” he said.
While commending Dangote Group and the Edo State Government for embracing Federal Government’s industrialisation policy and desire to unlock the full potential of the sector, Fayemi urged the company and other investors in the industry to fulfil their obligations to their host communities.
This, he said, would engender smooth mining operations.
On his part, Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, described the new plant as a vote of confidence on the state government.
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Source: Punch News