FG, Commonwealth To Unlock Nigeria’s Deep-Sea Mining Potential

FG, Commonwealth To Unlock Nigeria’s Deep-Sea Mining Potential

By Mikail Ajibola

In a strategic move to fortify Nigeria’s standing in the global solid minerals sector, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake, has led a delegation in talks with the Commonwealth Secretariat. The discussions, initiated to get international support, in unlocking the lucrative potential of deep-sea mining in Nigeria’s coastal waters.

A statement from Alake’s Special Adviser, Kehinde Bamigbetan, revealed that the Commonwealth Secretariat presented compelling prospects for deep-sea mining during the courtesy visit. The wealth of minerals, including copper, cobalt, nickel, gold, and rare earth elements, that could be harnessed from Nigeria’s coastal region took center stage in the discussions.

Dr. Alake underscored President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recognition of the solid minerals sector as a pivotal element in diversifying Nigeria’s economy. During the meeting, he highlighted key initiatives outlined in the ministry’s Seven Point Agenda. 

These initiatives include the establishment of a solid minerals company, comprehensive big data collection on mineral reserves, enhanced security measures for mining safety, and the socio-economic development of mining communities through effective community development agreements.

Acknowledging the Commonwealth’s wealth of experience, Alake urged the institution to throw its support behind the Tinubu administration’s endeavors. Senior Director of the Trade, Oceans, and Natural Resources Department at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Paul Kautoke, lauded the delegation’s visit and expressed optimism about Nigeria exploring profitable opportunities in deep-sea mining.

The forum also featured insights from Commonwealth representatives, including Director of Natural Resources Victor Kitange, Trade and Investment Adviser Opeyemi Abebe, Economic Adviser Daniel Wilder, and Ocean Governance Adviser Allison Swaddling. The Commonwealth experts highlighted progress in deep-sea mining globally, expressing concerns about Africa’s lagging participation.

In response, Alake recognized the need for a new approach to mineral development and committed to collaborating with other ministries to comprehensively study the dimensions of deep-sea mining. The talks between Nigeria and the Commonwealth Secretariat signify a bold step towards leveraging untapped resources for the nation’s economic growth and global competitiveness.

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