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FG urged to invest more in mining sector

The sharp fall of the naira against the foreign currencies continues this weekend with the British Pound crossing N1000 in the parallel market.

As part of strategies to diversify the nation’s economy from oil, the Federal Government has been urged to prioritise the mining sector.

Habibah Waziri, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of BGR Consulting Ltd, made the call recently in Abuja while addressing journalists on the sidelines of a conference to mark the 6th Nigeria Mining Week.

Waziri said though the government was paying attention to the mining sector, more still needed to be done.

In her words, “If you notice from a few years ago up until now there is a certain mining rush that is happening. Everyone is trying to get into the mining sector, whether or not they know how to operate the business, they are still trying to get into it. The government what they can do more is education.

“They need to raise more awareness about diversifying the economy actually. So, creating step by step programmes where people can actually learn about the business and then they can also facilitate connections and collaborations in terms of going to so and so consultancy companies if you need to register or recruit, or go to this government agency if you need to get your license. People need clear directions.

“The last thing I can say about the government intervention is that security is such a huge challenge not just in the mining sector. It is challenging our everyday lives. Regular business owners can no longer operate the way they used to operate just because of insecurity. It is of utmost importance. We need to find a way to do better so we can help the economy.

“Any country that is under strenuous activity bringing in another source of revenue is also going to help ease that burden. Oil and gas cannot sustain us forever. We need to invest more in the mining sector to improve the economy.

“There has been a lot of improvement. New policies have been implemented in order to help businesses here and abroad to register and get a license. In terms of skills, SMDF is doing a good job at giving loans to startups that are able to launch whether in exploration or in selling.”

Speaking about the firm, Waziri said, “We are the only people-focused consulting firm, which says a lot. What we are trying to do here is to be part of the conversation when it comes to sustainable human capital development. Every single mining operator has people running the mining in the fields, people working the machines, people involved in logistics and supply chain, and people involved in polishing.

“For a conference, that’s six years old, and for a sector that has been mandated by the president for diversifying the economy, it is almost appalling that it is only one consultant that is focused on training of staff, work-life balance, cultural, mental health awareness, skills building and capacity building.”

BGR Consulting Ltd, Abuja’s first independent precious metals lab in Nigeria, provides an instant, non-destructive, and accurate testing method for precious metals.

The firm currently operates in Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, and in a space of 3 years of operations has trained over 3000.

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