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US, Nigeria Forge Strategic Alliance in Mining Sector Development

Nigeria Aims to Diversify Economy with US Partnership, Enhancing Mining Value Chain

by Adenike Adeodun

In a significant stride towards enhancing Nigeria’s mining sector, Dr Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, yesterday hailed the United States as a pivotal ally in Nigeria’s quest for economic diversification and mining sector growth. During a meeting with David Greene, the Charge d’Affairs at the U.S. Embassy, in Abuja, Alake commended the enduring cooperation between the two nations, emphasizing its critical role in broadening Nigeria’s economic horizons beyond oil.

In discussions that reflect both countries’ dedication to strengthening their bilateral relations, Alake recounted a productive encounter with Geoffrey Pyatt, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, at the Mines and Money conference in London. “Our goal is to diversify our economy from oil, aligning with global efforts to mitigate global warming and reduce emissions, while positioning our mining sector on the international stage,” Alake stated, underscoring Nigeria’s commitment to contributing to the global environmental agenda.

According to a report by The Guardian, the Nigerian minister expressed enthusiasm for partnerships with the US in investment, technology transfer for mineral extraction and processing, and enhancing security within mining locales. Highlighting the Federal Government’s reformative steps, Alake pointed to the revised Community Development Agreement (CDA) guidelines aimed at easing tensions in host communities, establishing new security frameworks for resource protection, generating essential geo-data, and integrating artisanal miners into cooperatives.

“The mining sector stands as a robust channel for bolstering trade between Nigeria and the United States, particularly through value-added processes like mineral processing and factory setups within Nigeria,” Alake added. He also touched on the need for financing from multilateral institutions for local operators, mentioning incentives such as tax waivers for mining equipment and policies supporting profit repatriation to home countries.

Echoing the sentiment of mutual benefits, the US envoy lauded Nigeria’s renewed focus on its solid minerals potential, noting the sector’s capacity to match, if not surpass, oil’s economic contributions. “With decades of cultural ties and cooperation across various sectors, the US is keen on investing in Nigeria’s mining value chain, offering training, and facilitating knowledge transfer to bolster the security of mining environments,” said Greene.

He further assured ongoing US interest in exploring investments within Nigeria’s mining value chain, especially in light of the global energy transition from fossil fuels to critical metals. This shift underscores the urgency for strategic collaboration to leverage both nations’ comparative advantages in the burgeoning sector.

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