Nigeria: Leading Africa’s Potentials In Mining Solid Minerals

By Arabinrin Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello


Africa has a wealth of solid minerals and a diverse range of natural resources. These include but are not limited to diamond, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, and oil. Nigeria holds a position as the hub for solid minerals within the continent.

According to the United Nations, Africa is home to approximately 30 percent of the world’s mineral reserves, 12 percent of global oil reserves, and 8 percent of natural gas reserves.

African leaders have strategically appointed ministers to oversee the management of solid minerals and mining. This aims to optimize resource utilization for positive outcomes, such as boosting exports, strengthening national revenue and Gross domestic product (GDP), and ensuring equitable benefits for Africans and the global community.

Nigeria has been a trailblazer in the global mining industry, exemplified by its leadership in the Africa Minerals Strategy Group.

Dr. Dele Alake, Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, emerged as the pioneer chairman of this group, showcasing his capability and impact since his appointment.

Alake was elected at an event held on the sidelines of the 30th edition of Investing in Africa Indaba, Cape Town, South Africa, attended by ministers of minerals development of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Chad, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia with more than 15 countries pledging support.

Speaking at the signing of the resolution, Alake urged African leaders to forge a common front to get maximum benefits from the mineral resources on the continent.

He stressed that the era of carting away solid minerals from Africa was over, and called on countries on the continent to speak with one voice on value addition as a prerequisite for investment in the mining sector.

Dr. Alake’s appointment as the head of the African Mining Ministers’ group further solidifies Nigeria’s prominence in the sector. His impressive track record marked by strategic partnerships, signed memoranda of understanding, and innovative initiatives, positions him as a deserving leader.

Under President Bola Tinubu’s administration, the mining industry in Nigeria is witnessing a renewed sense of hope. Dr. Alake’s commitment to the sector was also emphasized during a meeting where he advocated for a unified voice on value addition, emphasizing its importance for attracting investments.

Since assuming office, Dr. Alake has been proactive in addressing challenges. He has commenced a process of establishing a mining police force, engaged consultants to tackle leakages, automated revenue collection processes, and revoked illegal licenses.

Despite challenges in Nigeria, his efforts signal a promising future for solid minerals and mining in the country and across Africa. Dr. Alake’s approach positions the solid minerals sector in Nigeria for a promising era, emphasizing its role as a cornerstone for economic development.

One thing is sure, better days lie ahead for solid minerals and mining in Africa under his leadership.



Arabinrin Aderonke, an award-winning investigative journalist is a gender, peace, and good governance advocate.

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