By Charles Nwaoguji
The National President of NACCIMA, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu has called for increasing collaboration between the Australian Private Sector and the Nigeria Private Sector, as well as between the Chambers movement on the two sides, are important areas of her administration’s agenda.
Aliyu, who stated this at a courtesy visit to the Australian High Commissioner, recently in Abuja stated that NACCIMA will intensify efforts for increased collaboration between the two countries, known to be well endowed with mineral resources, which will help in the area of diversification of the economy, job creation and improvement of the wellbeing of the people generally.
She acknowledged the Australian High Commission’s involvement in ensuring the success of NACCIMA Mining Road Show to Melbourne and Perth in August 2018.
“The roadshow showcased potentials of the Nigerian Mining Sector and also exposed Nigerian miners to Australian Mining Investors,” she added.
Hajiya Aliyu informed the Australian High Commissioner that contacts which were made during the Melbourne and Perth Mining roadshows have started yielding results for NACCIMA members.
While assuring the Australian High Commissioner of NACCIMA’s commitment for deeper engagement with the Australian private sector especially in the area of Mining and Agriculture, Hajiya Aliyu noted that the Director General of NACCIMA, Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni, who was a former High Commissioner of Nigeria in Australia, has been an active participant in the quest by NACCIMA to establish contact with the Australian Private Sector operators especially those in the Mining Sector in Nigeria.
The NACCIMA boss also spoke on COVID-19 Pandemic, she revealed that as a Chamber movement, the COVID-19 pandemic is an issue of concern and NACCIMA has been working closely with other stakeholders and the Nigerian government to stop the spread of the virus and also reopen our economy.
In this regard, she said NACCIMA sees the Nigerian Mining sector as an area of the economy which can make significant contribution to reboot the Nigerian economy and also assist in the quest for diversification.
Engr. Auwal Ibrahim Bununu, from the Miners Association of Nigeria, stressed the need for collaboration to develop the area of services in the Mining Sector and also development of business clusters to offer such services in the entire Solid Mineral value chain.
In her response, the Australian High Commissioner, Ms. Claire Ireland mentioned that the High Commission is working on a 5-year engagement program with the Private Sector in Nigeria, which will see the provision of technical assistance / investments and equipment in the area of services for the Mining sector.
She suggested a Gold processing center as opposed to the current situation where Gold is taken to other countries to be processed into bars then shipped out.
She commended the plan of NACCIMA and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce to develop a processing and buying centre for solid minerals. She further stated that the Australian High Commission is currently focused on Mining and Education but looking at the prospects in the Agricultural Sector and ways of increasing trade/investment in this sector.
In her closing remarks, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu thanked the high commissioner for the warm reception especially at a time of social distancing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. She expressed NACCIMA’s anticipation to work with Australian businesses and investors who have demonstrated that Mining sector has great potential to contribute to GDP of a country.