Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday disclosed that the Federal Government has concluded plans to meet with the 36 state governors to simplify access to land by investors in the mining industry.
The minister stated this at the groundbreaking ceremony of the over $1 billion two-line six million metric tonnes capacity cement plant by Dangote Group at Okpella in Etsako East Local Council of Edo State.
The project, to be completed in 26 months, is expected to be the biggest in Africa, as it would be bigger than the Obajana plant, which currently stands at that position.
While commending the Dangote Group for championing the Federal Government industrialisation policy, Fayemi lamented that only 0.24 per cent of the country’s GDP comes from the mining industry.
He expressed confidence that with continuous investment in that sector, Nigeria is expected to earn $25 billion yearly by the year 2025.
The minister, therefore, urged investors in the solid mineral industry to always implement the agreements they signed with host communities when they get their licences.
On his part, Minister of Trade, Investment and Industry, Okechukwu Enelamah, represented by Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, noted that the event marked another milestone in the history of Dangote family.
“What we are witnessing today is a path to national development and peace,” he said, urging the firm to embark on constructive manufacturing and mentorship of the young ones to grow.
Host Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, noted that the state’s total investment on infrastructure in the past seven and half years, is little less than what the Dangote Group is investing in the Okpella cement plant.
“We recognise that the plant that is being set up, for which we are doing the groundbreaking today, is worth over $1 billion. It means that all the activities of the state government over the past seven and half years is just about the same value of what we are about to commence today,” he said.
President Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the state is blessed with abundant mineral resources, adding: “The economic reforms in Edo State, especially in the area of tax, innovations in rural finance and investment on infrastructure, have produced an enabling environment that has further provided a platform for future growth.
“All these factors encouraged us to consider the state as the right destination for this investment.
“A key factor that drives investments in an economy is the presence of an investor-friendly business climate.”
The event also marked the 59th birthday ceremony of Dangote.