This article aims to provide you with insight concerning the launch of the roadmap for the development of the mineral and metal sector within Nigeria and how this will generate over 3 million jobs across the country by 2015.

Metals and minerals are indispensable to current industrial activities essential for global development and improvement of quality of life. Nigeria and its 36 states are gifted with a variety of minerals and metals. At the moment, mineral commodities are currently in high demand internationally. Therefore, utilising these resources for the fulfilment of economic, social and environmental objectives of Nigeria requires maintainable exploration and exploitation.  The sector has the ability to fuel primary production arising from increased local production of mineral and metals commodity products needed by the manufacturing and construction sectors, thereby improving the competitiveness of Nigeria’s real sector. It is also estimated to contribute minimally 5% to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2015 and generate roughly 3 million jobs by 2020.

The reason behind the launch of the Roadmap for the Development of the Minerals and Metals Sector within Nigeria is to ensure attaining set objectives already mentioned and to facilitate orderly development of the sector.

Our desire to attain the objectives I mentioned earlier as well as to facilitate orderly development of the sector informed the decision to produce a roadmap for such development. The roadmap was developed to resolve the challenges of the sector in line with prevailing government policy using the value chain approach aimed at achieving predetermined performance targets. The roadmap was developed to operate in three phases namely: short term, medium term and long term.

The short term programmes include undertakings that will reinforce sector improvements carried out thereby making Nigeria a preferred destination for mining investment capital such as generating credible geosciences data and formalisation of artisanal mining (ASM) operators. The medium term includes undertakings that will further raise mineral production in the country through active exploitation of mineral resources found in almost all the local government areas of the federation. The long term programmes include undertakings that will crown large scale mining operations such as delineating world class mineralised blocks for concessioning to investors amongst others.

A few performance targets planned to be achieved by the roadmap aim to consolidate the transformation of the Federal Government policy from “owner-operator” to “administrator-regulator” and to build on and maximise the gains of the interest-free, concessionary facility granted by the World Bank with a 35-year tenor and 10-year moratorium.

By the end of this year Nigeria will ensure enactment of the Metals and Metallurgical Act and Regulation. In 2014 the country will be responsible  for the creation of about 3million direct and indirect jobs and by 2015 Nigeria will see an increase in the sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP from the current 0.4% to at least 5% and graduating to 10% by 2020. Additionally the country will revitalise the entire steel sector for the operation and production of 3million tonnes of liquid steel yearly by 2015 and 12.2 million tons of liquid steel yearly by 2020.

Putting this article to rest, the implementation of the roadmap will basically contribute at least 10% to the nation’s GDP by 2020; create about 3 million direct and indirect jobs by 2015; create wealth for Nigerian citizens, produce needed raw material for the manufacturing sector and construction industry; and earn foreign exchange for the nation through export of mineral commodities and metals. The development will ensure the protection of the rights of host communities and ensure that mining undertakings lead to the superior economic empowerment of the people; and enabling a private sector-driven development of the sector.