By Emmanuel Nduka
Nigeria is hosting the maiden edition of the ‘Nigeria-Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit’, a three-day Summit with the theme ‘Towards a Greener Africa’, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Speaking in his keynote address at the event, President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said Africa needs to join the rest of the world’s shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources.
President Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite, pointed that Africa requires a huge amount of energy generation to drive its development.
“Today’s convention is indeed important. Africa requires a huge amount of energy generation to drive its development, even as the world shifts away from fossil fuel to clean and renewable energy sources, in the fight against climate change. In the midst of this energy transition lies many challenges and opportunities for a continent yearning for development.
“I believe this should spur us as a continent of diverse people to co-operate and collaborate more, initiate innovative solutions to the challenges that are peculiar to us, come up with technologies and products that will lead to the growth and industrialization of Africa in a more environment friendly manner while encouraging the development and financing of green energy projects.
“Our meeting today provides the opportunity to share views on natural resources and energy market developments. Additionally, the morning session will focus on Maximizing Mineral Potentials and Attracting Private Investments. Our esteemed speakers will discuss the opportunities within the Nigerian Mining Sector, the underexplored minerals which are key to clean renewable energy, the success stories and the strides towards driving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the Sector.
“Participating countries in the Declaration of Cooperation would strengthen their cooperation, through joint assessment and viewpoints, with the aim to financing sustainable African Natural Resources and Energy Projects that are key to the transition, for the benefit of producers and consumers and to regularly review at technical and ministerial levels the status of our cooperation,” he noted.
On policies and framework, Buhari stated that, “Our joint meetings and activities will support us in formulating favorable policy and strategy development for the natural resource sector as the world looks towards a greener future. A policy that is less subject to extremes, both today and in the future.”
Group Managing Director, African Natural Resources and Mines Limited, Alok Gupta, who was represented by Patrick Gush spoke on opportunities on Nigeria’s mining sector.
Gupta said: “Nigeria is heavily endowed with solid minerals with 44 minerals found in over 500 locations including all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have more than one mineral type which indeed is a rare occurrence.
“With the view of maximizing these opportunities, to create wealth, grow the GDP and expand opportunities available to Nigerians. The mining sector is the backbone of industrialization of the economy.
“He also pointed various incentives rolled out n the Buhari-led administration to promote ease of doing business in the sector.”
He added that “Annually $3.3 billion is still spent on steel imports which impact the economy. With focusing on steel Nigeria can reduce dependency on imports and the economy would become a major player in global markets.”
The Summit is aimed at discovering solutions and exhibit technologies that will lead to the growth and industrialization of Africa and more climate friendly manner while encourages development and financing of green energy projects.
The event started on June 1 and will climax on June 3. It is sponsored by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).