Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, the Honourable Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, yesterday encouraged stakeholders in the mining industry to come up with suggestions and to feel free to contribute ideas on how the sector can be moved forward. He said this when stakeholders in the industry paid a courtesy call on the ministry, as he used the opportunity to inform them that he and his brother, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite, The Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, are open to new ideas and their doors are open for all sector participants.

He welcomed The Executive Members of Nigerian Institute of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineering on behalf of The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, the entire ministry and himself.

In his statement, “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 and to provide 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”

This he reiterated when the All Registered APC Groups In Nigeria (ARAS-G) Executive came for an interaction with the ministers. He went further to say that they were happy that stakeholders in the industry are coming up early to identify with them, which shows the determination of all concerned to make the sector work.

In another discussion with leaders representing 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 said that “the mining sector sometimes in the past contributed up to 4 percent to Nigeria’s GDP and 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”

Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite, The Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, who latter addressed the visitors said that he was happy to know that “the mining sector in Nigeria has a lot honourable men and women who are a good examples to follow”. He told them that the ministry was ready to 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 Honourable 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 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.

His Excellency, Mallam Isa Yuguda in his contribution said that they came to show solidarity with the new ministers, to inform them of their commitment to their success and that of President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that the ministry holds the secret to Nigeria’s future.

Great Imo Jonathan

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