The mining sector is a strong propeller for Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, has said.

Opening the Second Annual Northern Nigeria Solid Minerals Fair and Workshop in Minna, Niger State, Bwari said ERGP has facilitated removal of impediments to investment with the metals and solid minerals sector receiving priority attention as a catalyst for attracting private sector funds to the economy.

“The sector provided 24 of the 70 projects, including eight five-star projects that require zero public investment,” he disclosed, even as he hinted the projects are expected to facilitate private sector investment worth $3.32bn and create 238,000 jobs.

He listed ERGP’s success as the designation of three minerals – gold, lead-zinc ore and tin as quick win commodities, the issuance of a gold refinery licence to an indigenous company and the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the gold refinery plant in Mowe last Thursday.

He also noted that challenges hindering commercial exploitation of the minerals are being removed, while a new export policy has been developed to remove hurdles associated with export permits and licencing.

Represented by Umar Hassan, an engineer, the minister highlighted achievements of his ministry, including increased revenue to government coffers, job and wealth creation and the acquisition of gold by the Central Bank of Nigeria to stabilise the nation’s currency.
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