By SUNDAY ABAH, Abuja
The Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) has been commended over the successful completion of the federal government’s National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP) and its positive impact with regards to attracting the much needed investments to the mining sector.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Oluwatoyin Akinlade, made the commendation at the weekend in her goodwill speech at the Mineral Promotion, Sensitisation, and Dissemination programme, tagged Mineral Clinic, hosted by NGSA at its headquarters in Abuja to showcase to investors the geoscience data the agency has so far generated across the country in recent years as well as its stock of state-of-the-art-art equipment and technical expertise.
Directly overseen by NGSA, NIMEP is an initiative of the federal government aimed to generate bankable geoscience data for potential investors to invest in the country’s solid mineral-rich sector. About five international firms engaged went to the field and came up with positive findings, confirming the presence in commercial quantities of some quality critical minerals in parts of the country.
“Let me conclude by specifically congratulating NGSA for the success recorded under the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP) which has provided the much needed bankable geoscience data for use by investors. NIMEP has been a huge success and I’m proud to have been part of the success story,” Akinlade, who was represented by the director, Special Duties in the ministry, Comfort Kabilla, said.
Delivering the keynote address, Director General, NGSA Andulrazaq Garba noted that in pursuit of its mandate to to generate geosciences data could drive investment for national development, the agency had stepped up exploration and assessment of projects in Greenfield and Brownfield using a unified sampling and data capturing system in line with international best practices.
According to him, reliable geoscience data in metallic and industrial minerals have been generated and they have spurred the desired investment
the projects in various parts of the country.
“The data generated by NGSA prompted the agency to organise the mineral clinics in the six geopolitical zones of the country which was a huge success. In the zones, over 400 hundred potential investors attended thé mineral clinics and over 100 samples of rocks and minerals were tested with Hand-Held XRF free of charge,” he said, adding that plans were also underway to extend such gestures to all the states of the Federation.
He disclosed that the agency had procured spectroradiometers and Hand-held XRF spectrometers which are useful during exploration as it allows for on-the-spot test of rocks and minerals which serve as a guide in the field.
“To further generate information and get a better understanding on the systems and environments of mineralization and ages of the Nigerian rocks, the Agency has embarked on dating the rocks of the entire country by competent professionals and staff of NGSA. Samples have been collected from the northwest and parts of north central Nigeria and analyzed. This project is at an advanced stage,” Garba said.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the various stakeholders in the sector. On his part, the Acting President, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Alh. Musa Mohammad who siezed the opportunity to seek deeper collaboration between his association and NGSA, especially in the area of geoscience information, noted the exhibition event is of primary importance to MAN, given that it is an investors forum.
According to him, the association is undertaking the project of establishing of mineral processing and buying hubs across the six geopolitical zones of the country begining from Kogi State where arrangement are being finalized to set up gold and lithium processing plants, hence the need have good knowledge of
bankable geoscience data to be able to make informed investments.
Congratulating NGSA on the achievement so far in generating reliable geoscience date for the country, the President, Nigeria Mining and Geoscience Society (NMGS), Alabo C.D Charles, represented by the Vice President. Engr Hassan Umar, urged investors to take advantage of the exhibitions and publications presented at the event for proper guidance towards informed and productive investments.