……As Foreign Interest Increases
By SUNDAY ABBA, Abuja
The investment in gold production by the Segilola Resources Operating Limited (SROL) since 2021 has fetched the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) N1.1 billion in revenue.
The Segilola project, which is located in Iperindo area of Osun State, South Western Nigeria, is a West African subsidiary of Thor Exploration Limited which focuses on gold exploration and development, and is listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite who made this known at the weekend during a facility tour of SROL, said as a result of the success stories of firm, the sector is already attracting more foreign interests, according to statement from the ministry in Abuja.
Adegbite disclosed that the SROL had paid about 1.1 billion Naira in royalties to the federal government, since they started production in 2021, expressing government’s willingness to welcome more relevant investors like Segilola, adding that as more investors come in, the more royalties to the government and more employment for Nigerians.
“I was in Australia, Saudi Arabia, London, Canada, even the United States of America, everybody wants to come to Nigeria to do mining because of what Segilola has done, a lot of news out there is negative about Nigeria, but we have your story to tell as a company that came from outside and is able to survive in Nigeria.”
The Minister also disclosed that an Aurelian company had commenced operation in Baba Tsauni area of Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, carrying out an advanced exploration and mining project for gold, silver and lead.
“An Aurelian company came into Nigeria in 2021, brought some investment in and others are about starting operation while another company who has also made imprints in Nigeria is acquiring equities right now. So many other companies like that have come into Nigeria, some are at the explorative stages while some have even gone beyond that,” he said.
He encouraged communities to be receptive to mining companies so as to accelerate development in their communities, provide job opportunities for their teaming youth and create wealth, appealing for continuous cooperation between the mining companies and the host communities as he affirmed that SROL had employed a lot of people – skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled from the neighborhood.
“We need more of Segilola in Nigeria, you are the pioneer and we are happy that it is a success story because when I started going to the mining calendar events and inviting them to come and invest in the sector, they were hesitant as they saw Nigeria as a shark infested water and wanted to see who dived in and came out first. They wanted to see how Thor exploration will fair, your success story is out there now and everybody wants to be the next Segilola,” the Minister said.
The Minister ascribed earlier hesitation of foreign interest in the sector to the notion that Nigeria was being seen as an oil and gas country. According to him, this perception was however changed with accelerated investment in exploration through the National Integrated Mining Exploration Project (NIMEP) and its generated data.
He called on more foreign mining companies to invest in Nigeria and take advantage of the abundant mineral resources not just gold but also other minerals spread all over different parts of the country such as Lithium, Coal, Nickel and Cobalts, among others.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Segilola Resources Operating Limited, Segun Lawson appreciated the support and motivation received from federal government which he believes is responsible for the success so far recorded.
Lawson said the company is not only running commercial operation as they have made a lot of social impact to the communities around them. He reiterated that his company has fulfilled all the promises made in the CDA signed with the host communities and have gone ahead into CSR which includes, building of markets, schools, construction of bridges, provision of scholarships, portable water, among others.