Nigeria, South Africa partner on solid minerals’ exploitation
To resuscitate 2013 bilateral agreement on mining for implementation
In a bid to leverage each other’s key strengths for the realisation of the African Mining Vision (AMV), the Federal Government has partnered with the South African government to strategise on measures to aid solid minerals exploitation.
Indeed, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi explained that both countries are presently reviewing the 2013 bilateral agreement on mining by examining areas of partnership in the fields of geology, mining, mineral processing and metallurgy having been neglected by previous administration.
Fayemi, in a paper titled “Nigeria and South Africa: Forging bonds of mutual prosperity in mining”, noted that both countries need to implement a departure from the perception and treatment of resource-rich locales as extractive farms, and move towards encouraging the establishment of value-added economic activities within them.
He explained that the Buhari administration is particularly focused on creating a broad spectrum of value-added activities by fully maximizing the abundant opportunities for mineral beneficiation, exploiting the possibilities inherent in support services and support industries that will be nurtured around core mining activities.
According to him, for the new resource economy to benefit both local and global stakeholders, Nigeria is taking an activist posture towards issues of developing local content and ensuring a transfer of skills and technology that will be to the nation’s advantage in the medium and long term.
He added that while the government is committed to maintaining a liberal business environment, it is also mindful that the new resource economy results in a win-win situation for all stakeholders.
“Today, the continent’s fortunes appear partially stalled. Pundits wonder if our work of reform is entirely hostage to shrinking commodities demand from China and India. The decline the Naira and the Rand have suffered in the past year is partially linked to the commodities narrative. Nonetheless, the truth is that Africa’s narrative of prosperity has deeper roots, and is firmly in our control.
“Nigeria has our eyes set on a rebound in the global commodities market, hopefully sooner than later, and we are doing everything possible in the interim to ensure we position our industry for market dominance when that time comes.
“We will work towards stoking aggregate demand and restructuring entire swathes of our societies to prepare them for the next generation of jobs, and delivering a joined up locomotive of growth. Hopefully, other African countries will take a cue from the renewed commitment of our countries to partner towards building the capabilities to create jobs and broaden the economic opportunities available to young Nigerians and South Africans. The aggressive integration of our economies will also create new corridors of growth for our neighbours and partners in both the ECOWAS and SADC regions.
“We will find smart mechanisms for leveraging each other’s key strengths and easing the modalities for engagement between businesses in both countries. We will also push our citizens to interact more intensively, whether it is in vacationing in each other’s countries or forming new personal networks. A shared experience and prosperity is the key to a new wave of African economic growth, and our Presidents are determined to deliver on that pledge”, he added.
Earlier, the leader of the South African delegation, Mosa Mabuza, had explained that their visit to the Ministry was necessitated by the delegation led by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi to South Africa to find areas of mutual benefits in mining sector.
Mabuza who was accompanied by top officials and Geoscientists, noted that whatever was the presence challenge facing the Nigeria’s mining sector, with discussions and sharing ideas, it would be resolved.
He continued: the cooperation between the two countries is not a one-sided affair but an opportunity for meaningful and mutual benefits to leverage on each other’s strength for advancement.”