Minister of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite has advocated Public Private Partnership (PPP) for a sustained growth and development in the mining sector that would enhance economic growth.

Speaking while receiving members of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) led by the West African Director, Ekenem Isichei, who paid him a courtesy visit earlier today, the Minister said the Federal Government is seeking ways to diversify from oil and gas, adding that proper harnessing of the resources in the mining sector would definitely take the country to the next level in line with the present Administration’s vision for the nation.

He harped on the need to open up the sector to private investors’ participation and urged the CCA officials and other major players in the industry to partner with the ministry, especially in the area of organizing and formalizing the activities of the artisanal miners in order to bring their operation to meet international best practices.

According to him, the artisanal miners often endanger themselves and create nuisance to the environment of host communities due to their crude method of mining.  He said that the ministry has tried to solve this by organizing them into cooperatives. He therefore called on stakeholders to work together with the Ministry to formalize their operation that would enable them to deploy modern tools of mining to ensure more revenue generation and also pave way for wealth and job creation.

Arc. Adegbite also solicited for Private Sector’s assistance in creating Certification Centres and Laboratories to certify the quality of discovered minerals such as gold, diamond, especially the gemstones to promote global recognition of Nigeria  minerals and legal trading.

Also speaking, the Minister of State, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, appreciated the visit of the CCA officials and assured them of the ministry’s willingness to partner with them with a view to deepen productivity in the mineral sector that would facilitate national development.

Earlier in his address, the Mr. Isichei, congratulated the Ministers on their appointment. He said that his organization has a good working relationship with the ministry,  and disclosed that their visit was to kick-start a formal engagement with the ministry to learn of  its plans and to bring in their expertise into such designs in order to actualize adequate and visible development in the sector.