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Solid Mineral Minister, Alake, Describes Those Who Imply He’s Corrupt As Pastime Gatecrashers

Dele Alake

The minister of Solid Mineral Development, Dele Alake has frowned at those who imply that he’s corrupt for creating N200 billion in his ministry’s budget for the building of a National GeoData Centre for the mining sector, which had already been built in 2022 by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Reacting to the allegation, in a statement he personally issued, Dele Alake also described those accusing him of corruption as “ignoramus all.”
According to him, various reports on the project are “offensive” saying that the report was written to titillate people’s “appetite for sensational hogwash, the pastime of gatecrashers.”
He said that the Solid Minerals sector relies on scientific data on the nature and occurrence of rocks underground to determine reserves of commercial quantity that investors can use to make decisions on business ventures.
He said that National GeoData Centre is the repository of geological data, adding: “We have improved on it with the launch of the advanced Nigerian Minerals Resource Decision Support System.”
He said that the new system aggregates geological, hydrological, demographic and economic data to facilitate investment decision making.
“The Data Centre we have established must have accurate and comprehensive data to cater for investors seeking to mine over 44 minerals.
“If it doesn’t, investors won’t take Nigeria seriously. If the government is able to make the data available at the data centre, it will de-risk investment and enable them to venture into actual extraction and processing.”
He said that the data in the facility is grossly inadequate, hence the need for ambitious and aggressive data gathering to fill the gap.
“This challenge was identified by the previous administration. It led to the implementation of the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project.
“Due to funding constraints, NIMEP explored only five out of Nigeria’s 44 minerals and was restricted to specific regions of estimated occurrences.”
He said that with Nigeria’s land space of 923,768 square kilometres, more than 12 times the size of Sierra Leone, the cost of a similar Airborne Survey will exceed the N200 billion budget proposed, which he said is not even available.
A visit to the website of the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NSRMEA) confirmed that President Buhari launched the National GeoData Centre to collect and preserve geoscientific data and information on Nigeria, making them available for the long-term to a wide range of users and communities.

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