By Charles Kalu
The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, has challenged stakeholders in the mining industry to come up with well articulated and strategic plans aimed at the develooment of the sector.
Dr. Ogah made the call when stakeholders in the industry paid him a courtesy at the ministry at Abuja.
The Minister of State told his guests that himself and the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, , Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite were open to new ideas and their doors were open for all participants in the sector.
According to him, “my brother and I run an open door policy and we are ready for partnerships and collaborations in our effort to restrategize and reposition the mining sector to becoming a major source of revenue for the nation as well as providing job opportunities for Nigerian youths in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate to create employment for 100 million Nigerians in the next ten years”
In another development, in an interaction with leaders representing the Small Scale and Artisanal Miners and Women in Mining, led by the former Governor of Bauchi State, His Excellency, Mallam Isa Yuguda, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah noted that; “the mining sector had sometime in the past contributed up to 4 percent to Nigeria’s GDP and the Tincan Port in Apapa was named to honour this sector’s contribution to the development of the nation. This is a pointer to the potential that lies within the sector to lift Nigeria’s economy and we are determined to make it happen”
Addressing the gathering, the Minister of Mines and Stella development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite, said that he was happy to know that “the mining sector in Nigeria had numerous honourable men and women who are good examples to follow”. He told them that the ministry jad already hit the ground running and that they are “consistently focused on achieving President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate to get 100 million Nigerians employed in ten years and in the next four years the aim of our administration is to achieve at least 40 percent of this employment target.
The Minister also ceased the occasion to encourage stakeholders to support those in the academia to rework curriculums in universities and polytechnics to meet the need of the local industry and to discourage graduates of metallurgical engineering from looking for desk jobs and make themselves useful by going into fabrications for small scale miners and the production industry in Nigeria.
Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite also told leaders of the delegation to carry artisanal miners along, teach them best practices so that they don’t endanger themselves and the society. He said the ministry will expedite action on the disbursement of funds meant for miners because there is need for speed in the sector.
The delegation led by former Governor of Bauchi State?Mallam Isa Yuguda said they were visting to show the solidarity with the new ministers, and to inform them of their commitment to their success and that of President Muhammadu Buhari.