07 October 2020 by MATHEW AYOOLA
Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA is to establish Special Economic Zones For Solid Minerals across the country.
The Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof Adesoji Adesugba made this known when a delegation from the Nigeria Chamber of Mines visited him in Abuja.
Prof Adesugba said the pilot States for Special Economic Zones For Solid Minerals include Gombe, Katsina, Kwara and Lagos.
He said the move became necessary in view of the untapped abundant solid minerals in the country.
According to him, solid minerals is capable of generating 12 billion dollars for Nigeria if effectively harnessed.
The NEPZA Managing Director explained that the zones when created would ensure job creation, foreign and local investment as well as boost the nation’s economy.
He said the project would be executed in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s renewed vigour towards a holistic and coordinated exploration of mineral deposit for maximum contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP
The government’s position is to deepen its collaboration with relevant stakeholders especially in the private sector in the quest to develop the sector for significant revenue generation for the country” he emphasized.
The NEPZA Managing Director stated that the establishment of the special Zone for the industry would provide needed relief for holders of mining licenses to escape the threat of forfeiture of such as enshrined in the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act
‘At the moment, most of the export of minerals from the country is without value addition, it is therefore our strategic thinking to change the narrative by using the zone to restore sanity, standard and compliance by emulating countries like South Africa, Ghana and Kenya that have taken their mining sector to an enviable height with substantial of their revenue coming from the sector” Prof Adesugba added.
Earlier, the President of Nigeria Chamber of Mines, Alhaji Shehu Sani said they were in NEPZA to seek ways of collaborating with the Agency on how to further develop the sector.
While congratulating Prof Adesoji Adesugba on his appointment as the Managing Director of NEPZA, Alhaji Shehu Sani commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing an experienced and competent stakeholder in the mining industry to oversee the Agency.