The Nigerian Export Promotion Council(NEPC), has called on stakeholders in Plateau to join hands in the development of the mining sector.
Mr Samson Idowu, North Central Regional Coordinator of the council made the call during a Capacity Building Workshop organised for stakeholders, on Tuesday, in Barkin Ladi, Jos South Local Council Area.
The workshop has as its theme: “International Best Mining Practices for increased export of solid minerals.”
It is aimed at repositioning the zero-oil initiative in the state, as well as making Plateau an export hub.
Idowu said the Plateau was endowed with untapped mineral resources, urging, ”all the stakeholders must join hands with the government to move the sector forward.
”Though there are several challenges confronting mining in Nigeria, all hands need to be on the deck to move it forward and not left to the government alone.
“We are a part of the government, that is why we are here, doing our own bit, but you see, a tree cannot make a forest.
“That is why we need other stakeholders, across the value chain, from each states and local governments and also the private sector.”
He urged that they should team up with other development partners to come to change the narrative.
“It’s undoubtedly true that we have a lot of deposits, but what we need is investment, but how to attract that investment is the duty of everybody.
”There are many untapped resources that if left fallow will continue to be syphoned by miscreants in the society,” Idowu cautioned.
He added that certain factors needed to be met to ensure that growth was witnessed in the mining industry in the country.
Idowu said: “We need laboratories, certification, infrastructure, finance, those are the major issues that need attention.
“And with the support of everybody, not only the government, I think we can make the sector a success.
“We are actually sitting on a goldmine and until something is drastically done on this goldmine, it will keep sitting there .
“And if we don’t do it, we cannot blame those who cut corners and make away with valuable National treasures.”
Idowu further stated that the best thing to do was to join hands and address some of the challenges facing the sector.
”Change the narrative and make it what we want it to be, for now, we are not there yet, but there’s hope,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Nengak Suwa, a mining Consultant and a resource person at the event, said mining was a capital intensive project.
He said that it required the government’s collaboration to help the practitioners in the business to thrive.
Suwa decried that insecurity and lack of capital were among the challenges that had continued to affect the growth of the sector .
Similarly, Mr Nansak Rimven, an Assistant Chief Geologist, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, North Central Office, said that poor legislation was also one of the challenges.
Some participants, Mr Thomas Kefas and Mr Zephaniah Ndaja, lauded the organisers for enlightening them on mining best practices.
They said that the knowledge would impact on their lives and their communities to boost their activities.