In a bid to upgrade the mining sector to world class standard and realise the desire of the present administration to diversify the economy, the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has solicited for support from the Australian government.
The Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, requested for the support on Tuesday when the Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Lehmann, paid him a courtesy call to discuss how best to assist the sector.
In a statement signed by the ministry’s Deputy Director, Press, Mr Ambrose Momoh, Fayemi stressed the need to learn from Australia, particularly on mining issues at a time when government is refocusing its attention on other revenue generators, a decision influenced by the downward trend in global commodity prices and in the oil and gas sector respectively.
While speaking on the need to upgrade the mining laboratory in Kaduna, he explained that rather than send raw mined minerals to Europe and South Africa for processing, the quality of such minerals can be enhanced if certified here in Nigeria before export.
“For us in Nigeria, it is a much more compelling argument to diversify our focus and revenue base because oil has been the king for so long and we have been blinded by it. We need to rediscover our root which interestingly was in mining as in Jos, Enugu and other places.”
Fayemi, while appreciating the role played by the high commissioner’s predecessor in the promotion of Nigerian-Australian relations in the mining sector and the support of almost $1million in the area of research, confirmed that a number of officials also benefited from study tours, exchange and graduate programmes up to doctorate level.
According to him, other forms of support include geological surveys, artisanal and small mining department, as well as the mining cadastre office by the Australian government.

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