CAPE TOWN, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Nigeria expects its mining sector to grow to 3% of GDP within the next five years from just 0.3% currently as the government seeks to diversify the economy away from oil, the minister for mines and steel development said on Wednesday.
Nigeria has been trying to boost the sector as part of efforts to diversify its economy. Gold, lead, zinc, limestone and coal are among seven strategic minerals Nigeria has identified for investment.
“We’ve seen steady growth … and we’re now poised for exponential growth as investments start crystallising,” Olamilekan Adegbite told Reuters on the sidelines of the Mining Indaba in Cape Town.
But insufficient geo-spatial data, weak infrastructure and limited enforcement of regulations have held the industry back. The government’s aim is unrealistic, said Alexandre Raymakers, senior Africa analyst at risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.
“Nigeria’s national infrastructure network is currently ill-equipped to sustain major industrial mining operations that would be needed to raise mining’s GDP contribution to that extent,” he said.
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