By Thompson ABISOLA
Participants at the just concluded “2018 Mining Week’’ have attributed the poor turnout of stakeholders at the event to the economic situation in the country.
The participants said in Abuja on Wednesday that a lot of stakeholders could not attend the event because their schedule clashed with the mining week.
The three-day event was organised by the Miners Association of Nigeria in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Spintelligent.
The National Secretary, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr Dele Ayanleke, said that the turnout of participants at previous editions of the programme was more encouraging.
According to Ayanleke, some miners have shut down their operations due to the harsh economic situation being witnessed in the country.
He said some officials of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development travelled to Ekiti State on Tuesday to attend the inauguration of Dr Kayode Fayemi.
Fayemi was the immediate past minister, who resigned his appointment to contest for the governorship position.
Ayanleke also said that the Minister of state, Abubakar Bwari led Nigeria’s delegation to China to attend the China-Nigeria mining week which opened today.
The secretary, who described the previous editions as succesful, noted that the N30 billion mining intervention fund approved by the Federal Government in 2016 for the sector was as a result of the programme.
Ayanleke said that during the previous editions, stakeholders in the sector advocated the creation of Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to him, MIREMCO is a vehicle created by law to bridge the gap between the Federal, State Governments and other stakeholders to reduce tension in the industry.
“There is MIREMCO in all the states today, because we raised our voices during a mining week like this,” he said.
The President, Miners Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Sani Shehu, said that the previous Nigeria Mining Week editions had contributed immensely to the growth and development of the mining sector’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last two years.
The president explained that the growth recorded in the sector’s GDP could also be attributed to the 2017 mining week.
He added that some of the big time mining investors that attended the annual event, eventually invested in the sector.
“The 2017 mining week featured strongly in the country’s journey to economic recovery and consolidation, it was an Eye-opener to the sector on how to move the country from a mono economy,” he said.
He said the 2017 edition was a huge success, as the event recorded 675 attendants, 25 exhibitors, 300 visitors, 80 mining companies, 13 countries attended the event.
the Business Unit Director, Agriculture and Mining, Spintelligent, Ms Emmanuella Nicholls, said that representatives from 21 countries attended the event.