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Monday, 17 June 2013 00:00
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Mineral sector to create three million jobs by 2015

Architect Musa Mohammed Sada is Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development. A graduate of Architecture  from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in 1982 who in this recent interview volunteered an insight into the roadmap for the development of Mineral and Metal Sector, launched by the ministry and what Nigerians should be expected from the ministry in the next two years.

Can you give us a brief insight into the Solid Minerals sector?
Minerals and Metals are essential to modern industrial activities necessary for global development and improvement of quality of life. Nigeria is endowed with a variety of minerals and metals spread across the 36 states and the FCT. As you may be aware, mineral commodities are currently in high demand in the international market. Therefore, exploitation of these resources for the attainment of economic, social and environmental objectives of Nigeria requires sustainable exploration and exploitation.

The sector has the capacity to stimulate primary production arising from increased local production of mineral and metals commodity products needed by the manufacturing and construction sectors, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of Nigeria’s real sector. It is also expected to contribute at least five percent to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2015 and create about three million jobs by 2020.
 
What is the reason behind the launching of your Ministry’s Roadmap for the Development of the Minerals and Metals Sector?
Our desire to attain the objectives I mentioned earlier as well as to facilitate orderly development of the sector informed the decision to produce a roadmap for the development of the sector. The roadmap was developed to resolve the challenges of the sector in line with prevailing government policy using the value chain approach aimed at achieving predetermined performance targets. The roadmap, which our staff designed, was developed to operate in three phases namely: short term, medium term and long term.

The short term programmes comprise activities that will strengthen sector reforms carried out thereby making Nigeria a preferred destination for mining investment capital such as generating credible geosciences data and formalisation of artisanal mining (ASM) operators. The medium term comprises activities that will further increase mineral production in the country through effective exploitation of mineral resources found in almost all the local government areas of the federation. The long term programmes comprise activities that will enthrone large scale mining operations in the country such as delineating world class mineralised blocks for concessioning to investors amongst others.
 
What are the challenges of exploring the potentials in the solid mineral sector in Nigeria?
The challenges of the sector include lack of adequate and qualitative geosciences, very high proportion of ASM operations, inadequate infrastructural facilities, difficulties in accessing required capital to finance mining projects, lack of adequately trained skilled manpower, lack of appropriate technology and machinery needed to massively exploit mineral deposits, lack of adequate legislation (Metallurgical Bill), stiff competition from cheap steel imports and non-completion and operation of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and NIOMCO in Okene.
 
 In clear terms, can you enumerate the new direction and policy thrust of the current administration towards reviving the sector?
Well, our policy thrust include value addition, import substitution, substantial job creation, promotion of modern mining practices, natural resources conservation, visibility of private sector and backward integration. It also includes participative policy process, investment in geo-sciences data, transparency in the granting of mining titles and permits, ensuring benefits streams for communities, conducive macroeconomic environment, manpower development and the development of infrastructural facilities
 
By the way, what are your priorities in term of performance target?
Some of the performance targets set to be achieved by the roadmap are basically to consolidate the transformation of the Federal Government policy from "owner-operator" to "administrator-regulator" and to build on and maximise the gains of the interest-free, concessionary facility granted by the World Bank with a 35-year tenor and 10-year moratorium.

In fact, from our timelines you can see our zeal to achieve the objectives. For instance in 2013, we will ensure enactment of the Metals and Metallurgical Act and Regulation. In 2014 we will create about three million direct and indirect jobs and by 2015 we would have increased the sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP from the current 0.4 percent to at least 5 percent and graduating to 10 percent by 2020. Similarly we would have revitalised the entire steel sector for the operation and production of three million tonnes of liquid steel per annum by 2015 and 12.2 million tons of liquid steel per annum by 2020.
 
Does that mean that your target for 2020 is linked to that of 2015?
Everything is almost linked to the success of other timelines. By 2020, if everything goes as planned there should be an increase in the sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP from 5 percent to 10 percent and achieve enhanced capacity to supply 50 percent of the skilled manpower required for all segments of the minerals and metals sector. The country should also be producing geological maps on a scale of 1:100,000 covering the entire nation and revitalising the entire steel sector for the operation and production of 12.2 million tons of liquid steel per annum. We believe strongly that Nigeria will soon emerge as a leading global player in metals production and processing for various applications in both capital goods and consumer products.
 
In conclusion what would you like to tell our readers?
I will like readers of the Economic Confidential and other Nigerians to realise that the implementation of the roadmap would contribute at least 10 percent to the nation’s GDP by 2020; create about three million direct and indirect jobs by 2015; create wealth for our citizens, produce needed raw material for the manufacturing sector and construction industry; and earn foreign exchange for the nation through export of mineral commodities and metals. We would ensure the protection of the rights of host communities and ensure that mining activities lead to greater economic empowerment of the people; and facilitating a private sector-driven development of the sector.

GTB emerges “2013 African Bank of the Year”
Foremost Nigerian Financial Institution, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has been conferred with the 2013 African Bank of the Year Award by the African Banker Magazine at a well-attended ceremony held on May 29th, 2013 in Marrakech, Morocco.

The African Banker Award recognizes financial institutions across the continent that have emerged as industry leaders and continent trend setters, due to good corporate governance practices, exceptional service delivery and innovative products. Winners of the coveted Award must have consistently reported strong financial performance and contributed significantly to the quality of service offered by the financial services industry within their country and across the African continent.

According to Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker Magazine; we are delighted that Guaranty Trust Bank plc has won this award. Indeed it has been a good evening for Nigerian banks and GTBank has consistently played a leading role in banking in Nigeria. Prudently run, with strong values, it continues to set new standards in banking. Its successful foray in international markets reflects strong fundamentals of a leading institution in Africa.

Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje attributed the bank’s receipt of the prestigious award to hardwork, discipline and a well defined operating strategy that enables it give 100 per cent above customer expectations every single time.
According to Mr. Agbaje, customer satisfaction and service excellence are the foundations of the Bank’s business and GTBank would continue to listen to its stakeholders and institute innovations that allow the Bank provide services that surpass its stakeholder’s needs.

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc was established in 1990 and is regarded by Industry watchers as the best run financial institution within the Nigerian Financial Services space, due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation. The Bank emerged from the 2012 financial year as the first Nigerian financial institution to cross the N100 billion Profit Before Tax milestone from continuing operations at both bank and Group levels.

The bank operates from over 200 branches within the country and has banking subsidiaries in Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. Its service standards, management quality and financial performance over the years have led to numerous other commendations that include the 2012 Best Bank in Nigeria Award for the fourth consecutive year from Euromoney Magazine and the 2011 Best Bank in Nigeria Award from EMEA Finance.
 
Harvard Alumni promote discourse on Ethical Leadership?
Businesses, corporate leaders and employees keen on imbibing the ideals of professionalism and high ethical standards in the management of their organisations now have an opportunity to advance this objective, courtesy of the Harvard Business School Association Nigeria (HBSAN).

The Association would on June 3, 2013 organise the first in the “HBSAN Reflections on Leadership” Lecture series. In keeping with tradition, the Association said this particular lecture will be in honour of the doyen of the accounting profession in Nigeria, Mr. Akintola Williams (CFR CBE), who was a past winner of the HBSAN Distinguished Statesman Award. This will be the 8th Akintola Williams Lecture on Ethics in Business and Public Service.

The topic of the lecture is “Ethical Leadership” and guest speakers, are pioneering banker, social entrepreneur and visionary businessman, Mr. Fola Adeola and Harvard Business School’s Professor Sandra Sucher. Ethical Leadership is defined as a form of corporate leadership that looks beyond profit and self-interest as its primary goals. It is a form of leadership which believes in influencing the values of followers to act in a manner that serves a greater good, other than profit and their self-interest.

Formed in 1983 by the Harvard Business School Alumni in Nigeria, the body is aimed at advocating the ideals taught at the United States-based Harvard Business School in the country.

The HBSAN lecture and seminar is part of the activities lined up by the Association in the next 18 months. According to the President of HBSAN, Mrs. Fola Laoye, the Reflections on Leadership Series, “is a new programme of the Association designed to bring outstanding business and thought leaders together in the sharing of knowledge and experience. By so doing, we hope to educate our audience, stimulate debate, provoke thought and inspire action”.

Mrs. Laoye added that the lecture series will also provide an opportunity for its members living and working in the country to connect with one another and also engage the wider business community on the significant role that it plays in educating and elevating general management practice in Nigeria. The event while being by invitation only is also open to all Harvard alumni

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