Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, has revealed that amongst the factors that have contributed to the under-utilisation of Nigeria’s mineral resources, are weak implementation and enforcement of mining laws and regulations.
Speaking at the first International Conference and Exhibitions of the Nigerian Society of Economic Geologists in Abuja, Adegbite who was represented at the event by the Director-General, Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, Obadiah Nkom, was quoted to have said the country suffers from the under-utilisation of her mineral resources.
“Undeniably, Nigeria’s Minerals sector offers robust economic potential for diversification of the nation’s economy yet the country and indeed, many other African countries have continued to suffer under-utilisation of their mineral resources,” Adegbite stated.
On the consequence of the under-utilisation of mineral resources, the minister explained that Nigeria has now been forced to depend solely on oil, which he noted accounts for 90% of her foreign exchange (forex).
“This has accounted for the slow phase of socio-economic development in Nigeria and many African countries. Our country is known to operate a mono-economy where oil accounts for almost 90% of the foreign exchange earnings,” he explained.
A list of Nigeria’s mineral resources and their locations in the country
BizWatch Nigeria understands that there are no less than forty mineral resources across the country. They include marble, gypsum, lithium, and silver.
- Bitumen – Lagos, Edo, Ondo, Ogun.
- Coal – Ondo, Enugu.
- Oil and gas – Akwa Ibom, Abia, Bayelsa, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Imo.
- Gold – Edo, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Ijesha, Oyo.
- Iron ore – Benue, Anambra, Kogi State, Kwara, Delta State.
- Lead and zinc – Ebonyi, Benue, Ogoja, Kano.
- Salt – Akwa Ibom, Abia, Ebonyi, Cross River.
- Tin – Jos, Bauchi.
It is, however, noteworthy that only oil and gas sector accounts for more than 10% the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). More so, petroleum exports revenue account for around 86% of total exports revenue.