COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES AT THE FOREFRONT OF DEEP-SEA MINING POLICY

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Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake, recently led a delegation to engage with the Commonwealth Secretariat. The discussions primarily centered around the potential profitability of deep sea mining in Nigeria’s coastal waters. Highlighting President Bola Tinubu’s recognition of the solid minerals sector as pivotal to economic diversification, Dr. Alake presented a comprehensive Seven Point Agenda aimed at transforming the sector.

The agenda includes establishing a solid minerals company, collecting Big Data on mineral reserves, ensuring mining site security, and fostering socio-economic development in mining communities through effective agreements.

During the meeting, the Commonwealth Secretariat expressed support for Nigeria’s exploration of deep sea minerals like copper, cobalt, nickel, gold, and rare earth elements. Emphasising the successes of other Commonwealth coastal nations in this sector, they offered assistance in formulating policies tailored to Nigeria’s needs.

However, concerns were raised about Africa’s lagging participation in deep sea mining, prompting suggestions for online training programs to bolster capacity in this domain.

The forum witnessed discussions involving key figures like Senior Director Paul Kautoke, Director Victor Kitange, and several advisers, underscoring the urgency to bridge the gap between African nations and the progress seen elsewhere in deep sea mining.

Opeyemi Abebe, a Trade and Investment Adviser, offered assistance in capacity-building initiatives, echoing the need to accelerate Nigeria’s entry into this sector. In response, Dr. Alake pledged to delve into the dimension of deep-sea mining, promising collaboration with other ministries to craft a comprehensive country proposal for further consideration.

 

 

 

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