Nigeria is blessed with several natural and mineral resources that are widely distributed across the length and breadth of our land. However the dominance of oil as a major foreign exchange earner has completely eclipsed the over 34 other different minerals in 500 known mineral deposit sites Nacross the 36 states and federal capital. The result has been a vulnerable economy and an underdeveloped non-oil sector, specifically the solid mineral sector.
This sector was left in the hands of an informal group of untrained ands ill-equipped artisans who carried out their activities unregulated in several communities making negligible contributions to the overall GDP. The absence of inadequate legislation and poor law enforcement in the mining sector not only deprived the nation of the potential wealth available from this sector, but also put the health and lives of millions of people in jeopardy. This stems from the dire environmental and health consequences of the unsophisticated methods deployed by its practitioners. The death of about 162 children from lead poisoning traced to local processing of Gold in parts of Zamfara State, northern Nigeria i a Case in point.
Recent developments however revealed the inherent dangers of excessive dependence on oil. An embattled economy arising from the plunge in international oil prices and resulting in insufficient revenue to pursue socioeconomic and infrastructural development in the nation, the fluctuations in income generated as a result of the restiveness in the oil producing region of the nation and the committed search for biofuels and other renewable sources by erstwhile major oil consuming nations as possible alternative to petroleum.Click here to Download PDF of :Policy Brief On Solid Mineral Sector For the NAS