The Nigerian parliament is considering the enactment of a comprehensive law focused on addressing issues relating to untapped mineral resources in a bid to harness the country’s abundant mineral wealth and stimulate economic growth, an official said Monday.
Speaking at a policy forum held in Abuja, the nation’s capital, Benjamin Kalu, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, provided insight into the forthcoming legislation, saying the proposed law aims to create a conducive regulatory framework to facilitate the exploration, extraction, and utilization of the valuable resources.
“The law would come through a bill: ‘Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act (Amendment)’,” Kalu said, emphasizing that the country’s vast mineral resources remained largely untapped and undeservedly overshadowed by the reliance on crude oil revenue.
Despite boasting dozens of commercially viable minerals, the Nigerian mining sector contributes a meager amount to the gross domestic product (GDP), the official said while noting the government’s target of a 3-percent contribution to the GDP by 2025.
“Our duty call today is to turn the tide. There are indications of a renewed vigor in our mining industry, fueled by a collective will to diversify our economy,” Kalu said.
By establishing clear guidelines and regulations, the government aims to attract both domestic and foreign investment in the mining sector while promoting transparency and accountability in resource governance.
The greater aim is to make the mining sector more viable, create more job opportunities, and unlock the immense potential “beneath the soil,” according to Kalu.
Nigeria is renowned for its rich deposits of minerals such as gold, iron ore, coal, limestone, zinc, lead, bitumen, and barite. The sector, however, has historically faced challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, regulatory inconsistencies, and security concerns hindering its full potential.