For Nigeria to earn the much needed foreign exchange it must begin to improve its investment in the solid mineral sector, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, has said.
Lawn said this on Tuesday in his concluding remark after a bill seeking to establish the Nigerian Minerals Development Corporation scaled second reading on the floor.
He said: “It is imperative that the Nigerian economy is diversified, and the solid minerals, definitely, is one avenue through which we can earn the much needed foreign exchange.
“I also believe that we have a long way to go, we haven’t done enough. At the moment, there are very little investments into this sector and the contribution of the sector to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is just about 0.3 percent, even though we are so blessed and endowed with so much solid minerals all over the country.
“This corporation (NMDC) when created will definitely work to ensure that we promote the exploration and exploitation of our solid minerals endowments.”
Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South) who sponsored the bill said it was aimed to strategically diversify Nigeria’s economy from being a mono-product economy to the productive development of various sectors of economy.
He said the establishment of the NMDC would urgently address the challenges of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) currently facing State Governments in Nigeria.
“It would provide the much needed revenue to deliver on the administration’s priority areas of infrastructure development; social inclusion and poverty reduction, industrialization and job creation for the citizens of Nigeria,” Al-Makura said.