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Develop post-COVID-19 mining strategy, says agency chair

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The Chairman of the Solid Minerals Development Fund, Mallam Saidu Malami, has urged the National Economic Council to develop a post-COVID-19 economic strategy for the mining sector.

He said that the solid mineral sector had become more critical for national development due to the fall in the price of crude oil.

Malami made the call while receiving the donation of 4,000 pieces of nose masks and cartons of Indomie noodles from the Managing Director of Sany West Africa, in Abuja.

He said the proposed strategy should be in line with plans to avert a recession in the country.

Malami expressed confidence in the ability of the NEC to work with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to evolve fiscal policies needed to drive the actualisation of the post-COVID-19 strategy.

He said, “Formulation of the right fiscal policies and effective implementation will reposition the mining sector for national economic diversification.

“I am aware of the very strategic steps already taken by the minister of Mines and Steel Development and the National Economic Council to implement the right fiscal policies that will support sectoral operators and the country at large.”

Noting that the coronavirus pandemic was a challenge to the mining sector, Malami stressed that the drop in the price of crude oil called for strategic solutions.

According to Malami, a post-COVID-19 home-grown solution will stimulate the potential of the mining sector for economic regeneration.

He commended the Federal Government for allowing essential services to operate during the lockdown.

Malami equally urged the leadership of the Miners Association of Nigeria and other stakeholders to reposition the sector for a post-COVID-19 era.

He said, “The effect of the lockdown on global economy is better imagined.

“Therefore, a proactive industry must rise up to the quest for novel guidelines that will lead to advancement of the economy because COVID-19 has forever changed the mode of business.

“There will be a need for healthy, safe and secure practices in mining and construction industry practices.

“The Miners Association of Nigeria and the Association of Miners and Processors of Barite must take advantage of the break caused by the lockdown to prepare, plan and adapt new strategies for the post-COVID -19 regime.”

He observed that Nigeria could not continue with the lockdown as it imposed a downward trend on the economy.

“We are hopeful that the mining sector will take its rightful place in the post-COVID-19 economic strategy,” Malami said.

In the same vein, he described Sany West Africa Limited as a proactive stakeholder in the industry, and commended the organisation for the donations made to the mining sector.

The Managing Director, Sany West Africa, Mr. B. Lilei, said the organisation was committed to the development of the mining sector.

Source : PUNCH NEWS

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