Mr John-Peter Amewu, the Ghanaian Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has advised the Nigerian Government not to leave the mining for private companies if the country is to reap benefit.
According to him, the Federal Government should establish a National Mining Company that can compete favourably with countries with strong mining destination around the world.
Amewu gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
He stated that the Nigerian government could manage its mineral resources through a corporate entity in a sustainable manner.
Citing China for instance, Amewu said the government had state mining companies that were competing with private companies.
According to him, it is the reason why China is one of the successful mining countries in the world today.
He said the Federal Government should be able to operate the National Mining Company successfully as part of efforts to diversify the economy.
“Nigeria Government must be capable of operating the company or it can get experts to run it,’’ he said.
Amewu warned the government not to rely on private mining operators alone to achieve its diversification policy.
“African mining countries should think toward establishing national or state mining companies to compete with other successful mining countries.’’
He recalled that in the past, the Ghanaian Government established a national mining company, but due to some reasons, the company stopped functioning.
Amewu added that effort was being made by his country’s government to resuscitate the company.
The minister noted that no African mining country had refining company.
According to him, gold mine in Africa are being exported to another continent for refinement.
He urged African countries to establish refining companies on the continent to process their gold locally.
“This will add value and benefits to African economies.’’
He said that mining was contributing to six per cent to the Ghana’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
“Ghanaian Government has rolled out a five-year multilateral mining integrated programme to tackle illegal mining activities.
“Presently, the government has suspended issuance of small scale mining licenses to check illegal mining activities in the country,’’ Amewu said.
He added that his government had also banned mining at the river port to check illegal mining and environmental degradation.