*Pledges 10th NASS’ commitment to business-friendly legislations
The chairman, Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Senator Osita Ngwu, has urged global investors to take advantage of the extant favourable regulations governing the Nigerian solid minerals sector and invest in the sector for economic growth.
According to the lawmaker, mining investors enjoy Nigeria’s friendly investment climate backed by legislations that safeguard local and foreign direct investments.
The Senate Committee chair, who made the call during a visit to the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Cui Jian Chun, on Monday in Abuja, described Nigeria as an investment destination with several opportunities in the solid minerals sector, adding that the opportunities highlight the potential for collaboration and economic growth between Nigeria and China.
Discussing specific investment opportunities that both countries can leverage upon, Senator Ngwu encouraged investors to invest in Mining Exploration and Development, saying that China expressed interest in investing in the exploration and development of Nigeria’s solid mineral resources.
The Enugu West Senator stated that investments were necessary along the various value chain of the industry, stating that it could be in the area of mineral exploration, discovery and identifying of new mineral deposits, conducting feasibility studies, and implementing mining operations using advanced technologies.
Suggesting another area that Nigerians or Chinese investors can explore for wealth creation, the Senate Committee Chairman stated: “It is an established fact that Nigeria has significant mineral reserves, and there is room for investment in mineral processing and value addition.”
He noted that Nigerians can leverage on China’s expertise in this area while partners can engage in joint ventures to establish processing plants that will add value to raw materials, thereby increasing their market value and creating more job opportunities.
While saying that availability of infrastructure plays crucial role in the development of mining projects, Senator Ngwu said investments in infrastructure were crucial as they are needed to support the growth of the solid mineral industry.
He called on the Chinese business community to take advantage of investment opportunities in mining infrastructure by investing in the construction and maintenance of transport networks, such as roads, railways, and ports, to facilitate the efficient transportation of minerals from mining sites to processing facilities or export markets.
Senator Ngwu also harped on the imperative of investing in technology and innovation, saying partnerships between China and Nigeria would do much to promote technology transfer and discovery in the country’s mining sector.
He said: “China’s advanced mining technologies and innovative practices can greatly benefit Nigeria’s solid mineral sector. Investments could be made to facilitate the transfer of technology, equipment, and know-how to enhance mining operations, improve efficiency, and ensure sustainable practices.”
The lawmaker said Capacity Building and Skills Development is a vital aspect of professional development in mining, stating that “investments in training and capacity building initiatives are crucial to develop a skilled workforce in the solid mineral sector.”
He urged Chinese companies to collaborate with Nigerian institutions to establish training programmes, workshops, and exchange programmes that focus on improving mining techniques, safety standards, and environmental sustainability.
The Senate Solid Minerals Committee Chairman said by capitalising on these investment opportunities, Nigeria and China can foster meaningful partnerships that will not only contribute to the growth of the solid mineral sector, but also promote economic development and job creation in both countries.
He also stressed the need for the minerals to be processed locally, which was greed by the ambassador and called for initiation of policies that would benefit both countries and drive growth in the mining sector.
Senator Ngwu assured the Ambassador of the willingness of Nigeria’s 10th National Assembly to provide the necessary legislative interventions to further create conducive investment environment for the transformation of the solid minerals sector.
According to him, there were plans in the offing to work hand in hand with the various security agencies in Nigeria to create a safe environment for investors in the sector.
Senator Ngwu urged the Chinese delegation to reject any offers from natives inviting them to engage in illegal mining without proper licensing.
He noted that government was making efforts to increase the Competitive Growth and Poverty Reduction Program (CGPP) from what it is now to a higher percentage.
In his response, Ambassador Jianchun expressed the commitment of China to working together with Nigeria to achieve a sustainable and prosperous economy especially in the solid minerals sector.
He also assured Senator Ngwu of China’s commitment to supporting
Nigeria in the mining sector, highlighting Chinese efforts to ensure that its immigrants coming to Nigeria for mining have properly registered licenses.
Ambassador Jianchun further emphasised the need for a synergetic effect between both countries to drive change with a focus on creating more sustainable economy.
He expressed concerns over security and urged the lawmaker to champion security policies to protect not just the investors but also the citizens of the nation.
Jianchun noted the illegal mining, licensing, contracts, and internal disputes among Chinese companies, stressing their efforts to resolve these issues and promote legal mining.
He disclosed the formation of the Mining Chinese Federation, where Chinese miners would register and collaborate to promote the mining industry in Nigeria.
Ambassador Jianchun stated that
China offered to support Nigeria with advanced technology to enhance mining in the country.