Nigeria expects its mining sector to account for 3% of GDP over 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. Olamilekan Adegbite said he expects “exponential growth” in the mining sector, with gold, lead, zinc, limestone and coal among seven strategic minerals identified for investment. He said the country had already attracted $600 million to develop an iron ore project from African Natural Resources and Mines, the largest single mining investment in years. Nigeria has been trying to boost the sector as part of its efforts to diversify its economy. But insufficient geo-data, weak infrastructure and limited enforcement of regulations have held the industry back. Adegbite said the government would require mining companies to sign agreements with local communities, who remain unhappy with a perceived lack of development and benefits, before investing.
A Conflict Armament Research report has shown that some of the weapons used in the conflicts between farmers and herders in Nigeria have been traced to the country’s security agencies. Some of the weapons, according to the international conflict research group, were traced to “stockpiles of Nigerian defence and security forces”. The report said 148 different weapons were discovered and analysed. It said that the Nigerian-manufactured small-calibre ammunition—including cartridges manufactured as recently as 2014, is the second-most prevalent type of ammunition in this data set. Four of the weapons, the data showed, were previously in use by Nigerian national defence and security forces. The research said it established this through formal tracing and the analysis of secondary marks applied to the weapons, which identify their users. The report, which focused on Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna states, said a study of the weapons in use shows the violence is “perpetrated almost exclusively with small arms and light weapons”. CAR said while some of the weapons used in the conflict are locally manufactured, some originated in Gaddafi-era Libyan stockpiles, and others produced in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East.
Nigeria’s port industry reportedly lost ₦84 billion in the past 14 days to the Standards Organisation of Nigeria’s failed server in linking importers to the Customs server for the clearance of goods. The effort made by importers during the period to upload their SON Conformity Assessment Programme code into the system so as to get their Pre-Arrival Assessment Report was unsuccessful. In a statement, the SON said it upgraded its system and importers were having challenges migrating to the new system. The loss to the port is estimated at ₦6 billion daily. According to an ICT expert, Tunji Olaosun, most of the applications used by government organisations were not developed in Nigeria and the processes were not domesticated. Clearing agents have threatened to sue SON if the situation was resolved in 24 hours.
The Dangote Tomato Processing Company, Kadawa said it would officially resume production 7 February after suspending operations in April 2019 due to inadequate supply of raw materials. The Managing Director, Dangote Tomatoes, Abdulkarim Kaita, said the firm has recruited about 100 skilled and casual workers ahead of its production resumption as it is prepared to run the company for 24 hours on a daily basis. The firm is expected to commence production with 200 tonnes of fresh tomato per day until supply increases. The plant has the capacity to process 1,200 tonnes of fresh tomatoes per day. The company has also started buying the product from farmers who were registered under the Anchor Borrower Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria.