Mining and Nigeria’s 2020 Goals

Revitalising the mining sector is part of extended government efforts to rectify massive imbalances in the economy, and the solid mineral sector is seen as crucial to overcoming the historic dependence on oil and gas. Mining activities suffered heavily because of official neglect during more than three decades of political turmoil and civil war that shattered the Nigerian economy. The richly endowed nation boasts vast reserves of iron ore and coal, besides significant gold, uranium, gypsum, barite and tantalum deposits. Over many years, a sharp decline in the production of coal, tin and columbite weakened the mining sector and dragged its GDP contribution down to 0.5%. Together with a determined fall in global oil prices and decline in crude production due to surging violence in the Niger Delta region, it brought home catastrophe to Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves.

Focus on the non-oil sector returned only after a peaceful transition to civilian power at the end of the last…

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