Picture above credit: Muscle and mud: Nigeria has an estimated 500,000 artisanal gold miners ©Tom Saater/FT
The 2020 Nigeria Mining Week will hold virtually in October following the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, has said.
Adegbite, who disclosed this in Abuja at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum said the event was usually part of the ministry’s way of showcasing the country internationally.
He, however, regretted that the event which served as a channel for promoting the country’s mineral resources to the world would now be reduced to a mere conference meeting on zoom due to the deadly Coronavirus.
“In October every year, we do Nigeria Mining Week and this is to showcase what we have in Nigeria internationally, unfortunately this year, we have postponed the physical aspect of the event following the Coronavirus pandemic but we are going to do it virtually.
“The first time I witnessed the event was at the NAF Conference Centre, and I noticed that it was small for us, so I promised that we are going to have a bigger one this year, of course we secured the International Conference Centre as the venue for this year’s event.
“However, we have written to them to keep the money against next year since we can’t have a physical Mining Week again, but Nigerian Mining Week will still go on virtually on zoom; so, every day we are going to showcase things for Nigerians to see,” Adegbite said.
The minister further said that the country was working towards achieving its full potential in the mining sector.
“I was with the president in Russia in October last year, I went to London in January and was in South Africa in February and also in Canada in March before the lockdown and these were mining activities that we attended just to propagate the gospel according to Nigeria.
“Essentially, what we were looking for were investors to come into Nigeria to mine some of these things. What most of the artisanal miners do in Nigeria is surface; mining goes deep down.
“There is a mine site in South Africa where I went to, it goes in about four kilometers where they are mining and that needs technology because when you get to that four kilometers, it is like a city of its own.
“This is very advanced mining; Nigeria is not into that yet. We are trying to get there and we need all the majors to come into Nigeria to access that; so we go about marketing the possibility in Nigeria for investors to come in,” he said.
The minister pointed out that the ministry was collaborating with other ministries and agencies to ensure a robust strategy that would guarantee economic prosperity for the country. (NAN)