The Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development arc Olamilekan Adegbite has said that the Nigerian mining sector is filled with highly skilled and dedicated professionals who can move the sector forward.
The minister made this statement while receiving the Honorary Fellowship Award which was bestowed to him by the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society, NMGS in his office in Abuja in recognition of his relentless drive to move the sector forward.
Adegbite noted that the high degree of professionalism in the sector had been instrumental to the milestones he had achieved, praising the professionals in sector for their dedication and drive.
This indeed comes as welcome news to the sector which has been attracting interests from foreign investors from the global mining world, proving that the industry has the local manpower to drive it forward.
The minister said: “When I was nominated as a minister and we went through the screening process at the senate I had no inkling I’d be in this sector. It came as a surprise to me after we were sworn in and I was assigned to this sector.
“However, I met a lot of professionals here who know their onions and who made the job easier for me. I have learnt a lot from this people, they availed me their knowledge without holding back.
“I learnt from many professionals in the ministry. And the profession is indeed dominated by academics and professors whom I have learnt from.
Adegbite also called for the participation of more women in the sector, noting that it was necessary to achieve inclusivity of the female gender in the sector.
“I am very sensitive to gender issues; we want there to be more women in the sector. Though we men tend to be knowledgeable but women have the advantage of having emotional intelligence, which is now being recognised globally.
“Emotional intelligence is very important that is why we need to encourage our women to come along and take their rightful position in the society and in the world of business.
“I am happy that the current Permanent Secretary is a lady, a medical doctor by profession. And she has quickly adapted to the sector and shown a lot of attitude”
Earlier, Engr. Obadiah Nkom, the outgoing president of NMGS lauded the minister for his relentless drive to move the sector forward, “we appreciate your role in the sector, the support you have given to NMGS and for the support the ministry gave to our society during the just concluded conference we held in Ibadan. Thank you so much.”
Nkom also expressed his appreciation to the minister for moving the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project, NIMEP programme to the next phase.
“We are particularly happy about the NIMEP project and the support you have given NIMEP.”
NIMEP is government’s rapid response to the dearth of investible geoscience data.
The project has engaged high caliber local and international professionals to conduct exploration in brown and green fields for gold, lead, zinc, tantalite, lithium, and iron ore.
This will generate credible geoscience data capable of giving confidence to investors and prospective investors in the Nigeria minerals sector. At the end of the exercise the viable areas will be delineated into concession blocks for interested investors to bid.