By Francisca Oluyole
Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development says Nigeria has huge investment opportunities in the mining and minerals sector.
Adegbite said this in a statement issued by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Mrs Etore Thomas on Wednesday in Abuja.
The minister who received a delegation from Optiva Resources Ltd, a UK based Investment Organisation and their investment Advisers, NPL Advisors, said the ministry had made efforts to attract Foreign Direct Investors to invest in the sector.
“The ministry is intensifying efforts at attracting foreign direct mining investments for the actualisation of the diversification of the economy from crude oil to mining.
“This visit is coming just a few months after the `Mines and Money’ conference held in London recently, as the ministry has become technologically savvy to make things easy for investors to access information.
“Investors can now apply for licence and certificate online,’’ he said.
He enjoined the delegation to visit other agencies of the ministry to get a full grasp of the mining potential in the country.
The statement also quoted the Managing Director, NPL Advisors, Mr Francis Nwokedi as saying the “purpose of the visit was to look at the huge opportunities in the Nigeria mining sector and areas the organisation could invest in’’.
According to Nwokedi, this is the first time his company is showing keen interest in coming to Nigeria, as Optiva Resources Ltd has invested in a number of projects across Africa.
The statement also quoted Mr Abdulrazaz Garba, the Director- General, Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) as saying “it is a welcome development for the organisation to invest in the mining sector’’.
Garba said that the Federal Government had provided funds for massive exploration of mineral potential available in the country.
He explained that seven strategic minerals had been identified as low hanging fruit in the mining roadmap, these include Coal, Bitumen, Limestone, Iron Ore, Barites, Gold and Lead/Zinc Ore.
Also speaking, Yunusa Mohammed, the Director, Investment Promotion and Mineral Trade (IPMT), said that the visit was a demonstration of the ministry’s effort at wooing and attracting international investors to Nigeria.