The Progressive Miners Association of Nigeria is seeking the development of the solid mineral sector, which they said has the capacity to generate over two million jobs.
The association called on the Federal Government to shift attention to the sector, as it also has the capacity of increasing government’s revenue.
The National President of the association, Mr Sunny Ekozin, told Channels Television that lack of attention from the government had led to underdevelopment and loss of huge revenue from the sector.
He asks the government to diversify into the sector, as a better revenue alternative for government especially in the face of falling crude oil prices.
A large number of Nigerian graduates are without jobs and the association is of the opinion that the development of the solid mineral sector could provide jobs to most of the unemployed persons and alleviate their struggle to live above poverty line.
On Friday, the Federal Government said it was projecting a revenue of over 250 billion Naira from the solid mineral sector in 2016.
The projection was made by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, at his ministry’s budget defence.
Nigeria depends largely on crude oil sales for its revenue generation, but the falling price of crude oil is forcing the government to consider shifting focus to other viable sectors.
While Nigerians await a new federal cabinet, miners under the Progressive Miners Empowerment Association have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent steps to revive the solid minerals sector.
At a media briefing in Abuja on Saturday, the National President of the association, Mr Sunday Ekozien, said a group of miners had taken hold of the sector to the detriment of the nation’s economy.
Mr Ekozien, who is a former National Chairman of the Mining Association of Nigeria, urged the Federal Government to unravel and remove the cartel which he said had roots in the ministry.
Nigeria has paid little attention to the solid mineral sector since it generates its revenue mainly from sales of crude oil.
Nigeria is richly endowed with a variety of solid minerals of various categories ranging from precious metals to various stones and also industrial minerals such as barytes ,gypsum, kaolin and marble.
Much of these are yet to be exploited.
In a bid to patronise locally manufactured cars in the country and encourage local content, the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has concluded plans to buy cars produced locally by Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited (PAN).
The National President of the Association, disclosed this during a visit of the association’s national executive members to PAN, in Kaduna.
He stated that the partnership with PAN was in order to support the federal government’s Automotive Development Plan which was launched to promote investment in the automobile sector, as well as create employment for the youths.
While appealing to Nigerians to patronise made in Nigerian cars, he also called on the federal government to put a total ban on importation of used vehicles into Nigeria in order to encourage local production.
The managing Director of PAN, Ibrahim Boyi commended the road transport workers for showing such patriotism and urged other corporate organisations and government agencies to emulate the association, assuring them that the company has the capacity to meet the demands of Nigerians.