The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society, NMGS, weekend, stressed that the multi-billion Dollar Ajaokuta Steel Company must work under the incoming administration if the Nigerian economy will bounce back and attract billion Dollar investments in various sectors.

Speaking during a media interaction tagged ‘The Agenda Setting Media Chat for Incoming Governments at All Levels’, the President, NMGS, Prof Akinade Olatunji, said the Society is ready with its pool of professionals to give the needed support the needed support to make Nigeria’s dream come through about Ajaokuta Steel Company.

The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society is one of the oldest professional societies in Nigeria founded on 15th January 1961 with major roles in the Mineral, water, environment, construction, and Oil and Gas sectors. Its motto is ‘Creating and Sustaining the Wealth of the Nation’.

Implement recommendations by cttees on Ajaokuta Steel Company

According to Olatinji, the first step to take to fast-track resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Company is to immediately implement all recommendations made by various committees.

“The current government has freed the project of all foreign legal encumbrances and that is salutary. It is the hope of the NMGS that the national legal issues would also be resolved speedily.

“The incoming government should fast-track the recommendations that have been made by the several committees charged with resolving the Ajaokuta issues and put the complex to work. The incoming government has a willing and ready partner in the NMGS to assist in delivering on this significant project for the nation.

NMGS ready to support resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Company

“The NMGS under my watch is ready and willing to work with all stakeholders to ensure that all hands are on the deck and the plough to ensure that we achieve continued progress. As professionals, we are ready to work and advise whoever needs advice in these sectors.”

Hails productivity, performance, improvement in solid minerals sector

Meanwhile, the NMGS boss also hailed the productivity, performance and improvement in the solid minerals sector under the Buhari-led administration.

He said: “The development of the Road Map for the development of the solid mineral sector had resulted in renewed attention being paid to the sector.

“Several reforms have taken place as the road map is being followed. The NGSA, MCO, Mine Inspectorate Division have been retooled and refocused to deliver on their core mandates.

“The evidence of these retooling and refitting have become obvious in increased flow of private sector fund into the sector as well as increased revenue realised from the licensing of operators

“There is also massive improvement in the generation of geoscience data needed to excite the interest of the investors to make them look towards Nigeria in investing their funds in the mining sector.

“The overall outlook for the mineral sector is that we are on the right trajectory.

“All that is needed is a laser focus implementation of the reforms and strengthening of those things where we are doing well by ensuring that funding is improved. The sector does not need any distractions if we are to be taken seriously. The successes being recorded by private operators in the sector are beginning to attract the global mining investors’ attention.

“The NMGS is excited that the incoming administration has also pledged to ensure that the solid minerals sector remains in the front burner of its plans for ensuring diversification of the Nigerian economy.”

However, he said the solid minerals sector has employed so many professionals in the sector, and the growth is noble and pleaded that, “The incoming government should not to come and scatter the growth and not with a sledgehammer but continue with the growth, and look what is on the ground and run with that growth adjust where they need to adjust in the next two years we are going to have a massive transformation that would have become our lot both in the oil and gas, solid minerals sector needs a Minister that

Nigeria needs sustainable Water Resources Law-NMGS

The President of Nigeria Mining and Geoscience Society, NMGS, Prof. Akinade Olatunji, said Nigeria is mature for a National Water Resources Law that consolidates on the already existing laws in regulating the sector.

Olatunji also decried the invasion and impunity of foreign quacks from India, China and other countries that are drilling boreholes indiscriminately.

“The water sector still does not have a coherent law to govern its activities. There are so many laudable initiatives that have been commenced but all these are all over the place with very little or no synergy at all between the various agencies and initiatives of the government.

“There is a need to bring some order into the water sector. The need for a simple Water Bill cannot be overemphasized.

“The country deserves a Water Bill that will devolve power to the constituent entity, not a Water Bill that will concentrate power in a Federal Bureaucracy that will bog down development. The Water Bill should be one that will be free of all perceived (rightly or wrongly) hidden motives to enable all stakeholders to have buy-in for its adoption and smooth implementation.

“This is long overdue as the impact of global environmental change on our water resources is becoming more and more evident. Nigeria needs to have a well-defined water policy to boost agriculture and food security, industrialization, and access to clean water for domestic use and for sanitation. Water is critical to the well-being of Nigerians, and we need to adopt wholesome measures that will guarantee access to potable, safe and clean water across the land.

“Majority of Nigerians depend on groundwater extracted from the constructed tube wells (boreholes) for their water supply. The geologists called hydrogeologists or hydro geophysicists are the ones that find the most suitable places to have these tube wells drilled to serve the water needs of the populace. This is wealth creation and sustenance of lives.

Why NMGS wants to intensify unified regulations for the construction industry

Prof Olatunji said: “Another sector that needs a make-over is the Construction sector. This is the most visible sector in the country as all levels of government from federal to local governments are involved in the sector. The massive activities in the sector have also opened room for quackery and sharp practices.

“These have resulted in the shoddy execution of projects, poor project delivery, loss of scarce resources and even loss of lives. The construction sector is a multi-professional sector, but the emphasis and concentration have been on some professionals to the detriment of others leading to poor project implementation.

“All activities in the sector that have to do with a sub-soil investigation for geotechnical properties to determine the type of foundations to be put in place is the work of our members who are Engineering Geologists. Anyone that is not properly trained in this field cannot deliver the job.

“Most of the failed roads that we see all over the country is because of non-consultation with the Engineering Geologists, some of the collapsed buildings that have been the lots of our cities is because of non-utilisation of the appropriate professionals in the investigation of the sub-surface materials. We cannot continue to fail our people in this regard.

Our recommendations for the construction industry

“We recommend that every State of the Country and the Federal Ministry of Work have a dedicated Department to provide geotechnical information on sub-surface materials before any construction is undertaken. This is the best global practice.

There is nothing that can be constructed that does not require the input of the Engineering Geologists to assist in determining certain physical properties of the subsurface rocks and soils.

Today, the trending topic is on building collapse in the major cities of Lagos and Abuja. All the interrogation has been towards what the engineers are doing or not doing and the quality of the construction materials. The views of very important partners in the construction industry have been sidelined.

It is the work of the Engineering Geologists to classify the type of subsurface materials on which the construction structure be it road, dam, rail, or even building is to be placed. It is after they have done these that the Engineers can start their own work. The NMGS will continue to engage the government at all levels.

“We are not a professional group that just identifies problems, we provide solutions and are willing to implement the solutions. There are so many other things that would require the attention of the new government at the federal level.”