Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, has revealed that the federal government has spent approximately $50 million to explore gold, lithium, and several other metals.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Adegbite stated, “To date, we have discovered over 44 minerals.” These include gold, lithium, copper, cobalt, oxide, and anything else you can think of.”
Looking ahead, he stated that the Nigerian government’s current task is to select a few of those minerals and de-risk them for potential investors.
While stating that the mining industry is critical, the minister stated that responsible mining and sustainability should be top priorities.
Mining, by definition, is disruptive, and as a result, the environmental impacts on communities should be kept to a minimum.
Adegbite also emphasized communal ownership of minerals, stating that the country’s government administers mining but grants community ownership.
“You cannot do your mining without asking the consent of other people, no matter the value of what’s under their seat. I have to ask you in the first place that I want to mine there,” he pointed out.
He urged state governors to avoid imposing “secondary norms” such as multiple taxations, which might dissuade investors.
He warned governors not to issue proclamations that could inflame the political situation, adding that the Federal Government controls mineral resources in all of the Federation’s states.