The federal government has almost finalized plans to understudy the Australian mining sector in order to improve on the country’s solid mineral sector.
The Nigerian government will also be learning how its Australian counterpart has been able to achieve synergy between communities, states and the government in resolving the recurrent conflicts between communities and miners and settling the royalties due to states.
The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi stressed the need for the country to learn how Australia has been able to drive its country’s mining sector, which the present administration wants to use to improve the nation’s economy.
Speaking in Abuja during a courtesy call by the Australian Ambassador to Nigeria, Jonathan Richardson, the minister said that the increasing interest of the government is geared towards understanding the Australian mining sector.
He added, “We need to learn how you have been able to particularly drive the Australian mining industry. The president is really very focused in this sector; not that we have choices anyway with the prices for petrol dollar dwindling, so we have to look at alternatives for raising revenue for the country and clearly for the president, agriculture and solid minerals appears to be the most realistic or fastest way to begin to raise additional revenue for the economy.
“The increasing interest of our government has made me get in touch and connect with what you are doing in your mining sector. Everything I have heard in the last 10 days of being in this position points in the direction of Australia. Everybody is saying it to me factually, technically, commercially, I keep hearing, you get Australia, you fix the mining sector.
“Another area that we really can learn from Australia is you are a federal entity like us, we do have significant tension between what the constitution says about mineral resources belonging exclusively to the federal authority and the management of land belonging to the state government, so we need to find a sharing formula mechanism, what royalties comes to those who own the land, the community, state government and then the federal in other to achieve synergy and corporation because increasingly, I am hearing stories of those trying to explore minerals from local communities and facing a number of challenges there. We will be interested to know what Australia has done about it”.