THE Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Monday, stated that exploration remained the main focus of his ministry in 2017, hoping that the Geological Survey of Finland (GSF) with the officials of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) would help him to actualize the task.
He, therefore, hailed the partnership between the Federal Government and GSF, as strategic to the development of the Nigerian mining sector.
Dr. Fayemi made this known at his office in Abuja during a meeting with the officials of the Geological Survey of Finland, led by its International Operations Director, Mr. Philipp Schmidt-Thome.
In a press statement issued and signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Olayinka Oyebode, a copy of which was made available to the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja, the minister lamented that while Nigeria was a mineral rich nation with large green fields, the country was lagging behind other African mineral nations like Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire in exploration of its mineral resources.
The minister said with the renewed impetus on developing the sector, the country was ready to collaborate with any country that has vast experience in solid mineral exploration.
He added that the country has already prepared a Roadmap for the development of the sector, adding that geological prospecting was number one on the Roadmap.
Dr. Fayemi encouraged the team from Finland to have in-depth technical discussion with the NGSA to explore areas they could assist in geological Survey.
Earlier, the leader of the Finland delegation, Mr. Schmidt-Thome indicated their interest in assisting Nigeria in the development of geological prospects.
He noted that their idea was not to copy what they have done in Finland and other countries and replicate in Nigeria but to work together with the agency to identify areas of need, and help the country in the development of the industry as well as provide support in capacity building.
The Finnish top Geologists were in the country on a working relationship with their Nigerian counterpart, the NGSA was led by the Director-General, Mr Alex Nwegbu.