The United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO, has concluded arrangement to help Nigeria develop a National Action on Mercury Use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this at inauguration of Development Partners and Donor Agencies Coordination Group on Mining in Abuja, said this would grow the sector to reposition the country for self-sustained inclusive growth.
According to him, “we want to attain the goal in line with government’s vision to develop a well–diversified economy and reduce the over-reliance on oil through agriculture and mining.
“The Roadmap has provided a strategic framework for Nigeria to build an inclusive and sustainable mining industry designed to serve a targeted domestic and export market for iron ore and minerals.”
The minister hinted, government is developing a Mineral Management Information System for automating processes and procedures and linking MDAs, adding, “we are in final stages and we would flag it off soon.”
Fayemi explained, “once the Decision Support System is fully operational it would allow the key ministries, in conjunction with other stakeholders, to undertake regionally based resource corridor analysis.”
He added that OSIWA is reviewing the legal and regulatory obstacles, financing our strategic communication activities and legislature to support women in mining to improve gender inclusiveness in the sector.
Meanwhile, the ministry, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) is working towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) using the African Mining Vision (AVM) as a guide.
This is geared towards transforming the African continent from being a destination of the world’s raw material and consumers of imported products to one that optimally harnesses its resources to ensure the economic well being of the citizens.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Abubakar Bawa Bwari stated this at the one-day Validation of the African Mining Vision Gap Analysis Report organized by the Ministry in conjunction with UNDP, held at the NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja.
Abubakar stated that the workshop was in preparation towards identifying the gaps between the Roadmap and the AMV with a view to promoting its domestication in Nigeria. He said the AMV action plan is centered on nine important clusters, which if pursued vigorously would become the turning point for African economies in general and Nigeria in particular.
“The clusters include Mineral Rents and Management, Geological and Mining Formation Systems, Human and Institutional capacities, Artisanal and Small Scale Mining, Research and Development, Mineral Sector Governance, Environmental and social Issues.”
According to him, linkages and diversification, which are guiding tools for the prudent, transparent, efficient development, and management of Africa’s Mineral resources are most paramount today.
The UNDP has also adopted a three stage approach for the domestication of the AMV, which include conducting studies to investigate to what extent national mining policies are aligned with the AMV; convening a stakeholder dialogue with all key stakeholders in the sector as well as developing an action plan and communication strategy for the policy reforms necessary to align national policies with the AMV.
The minister commended the agency and all stakeholders for their support towards the sustainable development of the solid minerals sector, which he said; government is committed to the promotion of investments in the sector.
The Country Director, UNDP Nigeria, Dr. Samuel Bwalya, represented by the Senior Economic Adviser, UNDP, Mr. Ojijo Odhiambo, in his opening remarks noted that Africa is blessed with abundant natural resources but is yet to benefit from them. He noted, AMV was adopted in 2009 by the AU Heads of State to promote good governance, develop human capacity and foster transparency and accountability among others.