Solid minerals: FG’s policy success in local value addition is facilitating economic restructuring, says Alake

March 27, 2024

FG’s policy success in local value addition is facilitating economic restructuring, says Alake

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake on Tuesday announced the Federal Government’s policy success in local value addition to the Kujeni iron ore deposit being mined by the African Natural Resources and Mines Limited (ANRML).

The minister who made the point during a one-day working visit to ANRML mine site in Kujeni, Kaduna State, explained that by ensuring the compliance of operators to the policy, government is fulfilling its pledge of economic restructuring, noting that large scale jobs and wealth have been created in Kujeni.

Alake assured that the administration will continue to support foreign investors who add value to minerals in Nigeria, and commended the management of the company for complying with government’s policy of local value addition to minerals.

“Myself and the Minister of Trade and Investment have gone around the mine site and we have seen the massive investment. In fact, it is reputed to be the largest FDI in mineral sector in Nigeria put at about six hundred million Dollars,” he said.

He pointed out that the Africa Natural Resources and Mines is not just carting or mining Nigeria’s iron ore, but it is processing and refining the ores, thereby contributing to the economic development of Nigeria.

He extolled the tenacity of the company, saying: “The African Natural Resources and Mines Limited is worthy of emulation, and I commend the Group Managing Director for this very remarkable achievement.”

While reiterating that local value addition to solid minerals is one of the key ways by which the Tinubu administration is fulfilling its pledge to restructure the economy, he further discussed the strategic importance of the policy, saying: “When I assumed duty in August last year, I rolled out my seven point agenda for the solid minerals sector, a critical part of the agenda was local value addition to minerals in Nigeria.”

“At various international fora, I reemphasized the significance of the policy.”

“As recently as last week, I reemphasized that the Federal Government would no longer license any company that wants to engage in our minerals sector without any concrete plan for local value addition.”

“So, today’s event gladdens my heart because here is a company that has obeyed our admonition and exemplified local value addition to solid minerals.”

“I am happy that we have an example in ANMRL for other companies in Nigeria,” he added.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite said the steel industry is capable of supporting President Tinubu’s industrial revolution goal, adding that government will not import steel to feed the industrial revolution needs.

While saying that steel constitutes eighty percent of a car, Uzoka-Anite explained that steel manufacturers in the country are prepared to produce top quality steel that will feed car manufacturing in the country towards realizing the set goal of the industrial revolution.

Group Managing Director, ANRML, Mr. Alok Gupta thanked the ministers and pledged continues commitment to pursuit of shared values.

Discussing the journey of the company to its current status, Alok said it commenced in 2016 with the “Community Development Agreement and Land Acquisition” in Gujeni. “This journey has culminated in the establishment of a fully integrated iron ore mining and processing plant by 2023, a groundbreaking achievement and the first of its kind in Nigeria.

While saying that the real wealth of a nation lies in its natural resources, Alok described Nigeria as a nation of strength, resilience and limitless potential blessed with abundant natural resources.

He said the company’s iron ore mining and processing plant is Nigeria is the largest non-oil FDI in the country, adding that it is a significant stride in deploying mineral wealth to national economic development.

While saying that the site as a mining capacity of over 5 million tones per annum, he explained that the Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) produced by the facility will be a direct substitute for ferrous scrap currently used as raw material for producing steel in Nigeria. “It will also gradually position Nigeria as a prominent Crude Steel producer globally,” he added.

He said beyond mere business success, ANRML embodies the essence of the “Renewed Hope Agenda,” championed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.