These statements were made during the second edition of The African Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit with the theme “Towards a Just Transition,” which took place in Abuja on Tuesday.
Tinubu also emphasized that the government will no longer tolerate criminal activities and their participants. He expressed the government’s determination to minimize the risks of investment by refraining from interfering in the legitimate operations of licensed miners.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr. George Akume, Tinubu stated, “Today marks a new beginning for Nigeria and our friends from around the world. Many participants have traveled long distances to attend this forum because they believe in the enormous potential of our country, the camaraderie of our people, and the forward-thinking policies of our government.
“Nigeria is open for business. We are eager to develop our abundant resources with genuine partners who share our vision of equitable wealth distribution among our people. We are determined to actively pursue sustainable development goals to eradicate poverty, disease, and hunger from our homeland.”
Akume, in highlighting some of the challenges facing the sector, pointed out the lack of comprehensive and certified data required for investment financing. He also mentioned the allegations of corruption during the licensing process, which undermine transparency and trust.
He added, “Our administration will revive the dormant solid minerals sector to fulfill its strategic role in the economy by creating job opportunities, increasing government revenue, and establishing an industrial sector that garners international acclaim.
“Nigerians accomplished this feat with the petroleum sector against all odds. Petroleum became our main source of revenue. We will do the same with the solid minerals sector, but with greater wisdom and effectiveness based on the lessons we have learned.
“Recently, to demonstrate our unwavering support for the progress made thus far, the federal executive council has adopted a seven-point agenda as the guiding policies of our administration. This agenda aims to clean up and optimize the sector, positioning it for ethical business practices and global competitiveness.”
Akume further appealed to the state governors, who share the responsibilities imposed by the federal provisions, to observe the exclusive jurisdiction for mineral development, fostering cooperative federalism.
In his welcome address, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, described the AFNIS event as an opportunity to explore new ideas and showcase innovative technologies focused on sustainable and equitable practices in natural resource utilization and energy development.
He also advocated for the implementation of policies that safeguard those who may face negative impacts during this transition.
Alake stated, “The African Continent has long been a source of invaluable mineral wealth that has contributed to global development. However, now is the time for us to redefine our narrative and shape our own future. Our resources must drive our prosperity and the well-being of our people. We must establish the groundwork for a just transition that promotes inclusive growth and minimizes environmental impacts.
“In Nigeria, we have witnessed the transformative potential of our solid minerals sector and the abundance of opportunities it presents. We are committed to harnessing these resources effectively, efficiently, and sustainably to drive economic growth and create prosperity for our citizens. Our efforts in this regard have already yielded positive results, with increased exploration, investment, and responsible mining practices taking the forefront.”
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