Nigeria’s government is discussing the creation of a state company to regulate its mineral extraction industry and provide funding for local businesses.
Nigeria is planning to launch a state-backed solid minerals corporation to provide funding to its mining sector and manage the country’s minerals, reported Reuters.
The new company, named Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation, will focus on the extraction of gold, coal, iron ore, bitumen, lead, limestone and baryte.
Nigeria’s Solid Minerals Minister Dele Alake was quoted by Reuters as saying: “The proposed corporation will seek and secure partnership investment agreements with big multinational companies worldwide to leverage on the attractive investment-friendly regime operating in the country to secure massive foreign direct investment for the mining sector.”
Nigeria is looking to strengthen its mineral sector to diversify away from oil exploration and boost its economy.
Alake said the Solid Minerals Ministry will add at least 50% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Alake was quoted by Nigeria Info FM as saying: “Mining is big business. Nigeria must assert its presence in this environment by replicating its strategic positioning in the petroleum sector by setting up a corporate body that plays in this field.
“Consequently, the ministry shall work towards the incorporation of the Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation.
“This is a corporate body that will have subsidiaries doing business in the seven priority areas that require immediate intervention and focus: gold, coal, limestone, bitumen, lead, iron ore and baryte.”
The existing companies, including the National Iron-Ore Company and the Bitumen Concessioning Programme, are planned to be assessed to fit into the proposed company.