By SUNDAY ABBA, Abuja
The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society, NMGS
, has urged the incoming Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led APC government to ensure continuity of the ongoing reforms initiated by the outgoing government.
NMGS President Prof. Akinade Shadrach Olatunji who gave the advice at the weekend during a media chart in Abuja said discontinuing the reforms would amount to truncating the unfolding development which has already started in those critical sectors and taking the country far back economically.
Prof. Olatunji recalled that founded on 15th January 1961, NMGS has been playing strategic roles in those critical sectors – mineral, water, environment, construction, and oil and gas sectors, especially in the last 7 to 8 years of the Buhari administration in line with its motto of “Creating and Sustaining the Wealth of the Nation”.
He said though much is achieved and still being achieved, there is still more work to be done for the country to attain the economic viability of her dream, stressing that the development of the Road Map for the development of the solid mineral sector had resulted in renewed attentions being paid to the sector.
“Several reforms have taken place as the road map is being followed. The NGSA, MCO, Mine Inspectorate Division have been retooled and refocused to deliver on their core mandates. The evidence of these retooling and refitting have become obvious in increased flow of private sector fund into the sector as well as increased revenue realised from the licensing of operators.
“There is also massive improvement in
the generation of geoscience data needed to excite the interest of the investors to make them look towards Nigeria in investing their funds in the mining sector.
“The overall outlook for the mineral sector is that we are on the right trajectory. All that is needed is a laser focus implementation of the reforms and strengthening of those things where we are doing well by ensuring that funding is improved. The sector does not need any distractions if we are to be taken seriously. The successes being recorded by private operators in the sector are beginning to attract the global mining investors’ attentions.
“The NMGS is excited that the incoming administration has also pledged to ensure that the solid minerals sector remain in the front burner of its plans for ensuring diversification of the Nigerian economy,” he remarked.
On the oil and gas front, NMGS noted that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Acts, PIA, is a huge leap in bringing the oil and gas sector into the realm that it should be aligning it with the best international practices and opening the sector to the much-needed resources for its resurgence and profitability.
He said what had been achieved in those two sectors for now, cannot be said of others where the NMGS is also a professional stakeholder, adding “There is no coherent national policy that
governs the water, environment, and the constructions sectors.”
The umbrella body for all geoscientists in Nigeria therefore recommended that a Water Bill be initiated as quickly as possible so as to sanitise the sector.
“The need for a clear and coherent national policy for the sectors cannot be over-emphasised. The environment is critical to our continued existence, we need to take issue of environmental sustainability much more seriously,” NMGS warned.
Worried about the regretable.tales of structural collapse every now and then in the country, the body also recommended that every state of the country and the Federal Ministry of works have a dedicated department to provide geotechnical information on sub surface materials before any construction is undertaken. This is the best global practice, adding that it will continue to engage government at all levels as well as other stakeholders.