The 50th Annual International Conference of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society was held in Benin City, Edo State from the 16th – 22nd March, 2014, with the theme: CONTRIBUTION OF THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY TO THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA IN THE LAST 50 YEARS: facts, fallacies and way forward.
A total of over two thousand delegates attended the conference with participants drawn from Government, Academia and Industry, International community and NGOs among others. At the end of an exhaustive brain-storming panel discussion involving experts in the various sectors of the Extractive Industry, both locally and internationally and a robust audience participation of relevant professionals in the industry, the following issues were discussed:
1. The sustainability of the mining and solid mineral sector and its significance to national development.
2. The impact of mining activities on the environment
3. Regulation and policy options of the oil and gas industry
4. Water resources management and development in Nigeria.
5. The status of mining and geosciences education and capacity development in Nigeria.
Arising from the afore issues, the following resolutions are made:
The sustainability of the mining sector is of extreme importance to national development as this sector would continue to sustain the economy in the fore seeable future. The resource needs to be quantified, evaluated and properly inventoried.
The attended exploitation thereon must be properly controlled to enable environmental sustainability and resource management for the present and future. In line with the above, adequate implementation of the relevant mining laws and policies must be consistently and transparently enforced.
Adaptive technology to ensure value addition must be encouraged by all stakeholders.
The delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is a major setback to the realization of the vision of a vibrant oil and gas industry. The National Assembly is therefore urged to expedite action on the passage of this all important bill for the survival of the oil industry and the overall growth of the economy.
To enhance effective management and development of Water Resources, the Conference recommends the speedy passage of the Water Bill which is still before the National Assembly with adequate empowerment of all the agencies involved in the above.
Geoscience Education training and capacity development in Nigeria is currently inadequate. Therefore, the Conference resolved that in order to enhance standards thereon, all relevant regulatory authorities such as the Council of Mining Engineers and Geosciences (COMEG) and the National University Commission (NUC) and other stakeholders must ensure adequate control of student enrollment in our tertiary geoscience and mining institutions to avoid exceeding the carrying capacity of these institutions. In addition, they must be adequately funded and equipped and a practicable symbiotic relationship between the academia and industry must be reintroduced.
The Government is commended for its commitment to the transformation of the Extractive Industry. However, Government is further encouraged to adequately fund the various agencies involved in this important sector of the Nigerian economy. Furthermore, the issue of security is germane for the development of the sector and should be adequately addressed.
Finally, the NMGS wishes to express its gratitude to the President and Commander-in-Chief, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the Governments and good people of Edo and Delta States for their hospitality that has created a suitable environment for the holding of the 50th International Conference.