El-Rufai, Fayemi say solid minerals can transform economy

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai yesterday, disclosed that the rich mineral deposits in Kaduna State will bring huge investments capable of transforming the nation’s economy and state’s revenue base.

The governor made the disclosure at the national consultative meeting on validation of roadmap for the solid minerals sector, held in Kaduna.

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who was at the meeting, expressed optimism on the process being put in place for the exploiration of the various solid mineral resources found in Nigeria.

El-Rufai said the vast solid mineral deposits in the country would translate into improvements in the lives of people living in the host communities and at the same time give economic benefits like increased internally generated revenue, job creation and inclusive growth.”

The minister had reiterated that the commitment of the Federal Government to development of solid minerals for export, would open new opportunity for more foreign exchange earnings and employment generation for the nation.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Barnabas Baba Bantex, said “the present administration recognises the importance of diversifying the economy and job creation, as the cardinal stones in the rejuvenation of the state.”

He added that “these, among others, will leapfrog the economy of the state and revive its fortunes.”

El-Rufai argued that the forum could not have come at a better time when we are poised to revive the state, and the choice of Kaduna as the host, gives credence to the zeal in championing the sector as a premium sector for investments, along with agriculture.”

The minister however, explained that efforts were in top gear in mapping out the areas of solid minerals deposits and issuance of licences between states and the Federal Government for prospective investors.

Fayemi argued: “Only last week, the National Economic Council (NEC) met and the minister of state presented perspectives on issuance of licences between states and federal. And of course, we are aware that there is agitation that states should do more. “

The minister pledged government’s commitment to making the sector regain its old relevance, both in terms of job creation and revenue generation for the Nigerian economy.

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