- As Britain stumbles toward a new deal with the U.S.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, is leading the Nigerian delegation to the Africa Down Under Conference, holding in Perth, Australia, between September 6th to 8th, 2017.
Widely regarded as a conference that attracts significant interest from organisations prospecting for business opportunities in the mining sector in Africa, the Nigerian delegation includes critical stakeholders, notably, officials of some state governments in charge of minerals and mining; financial experts, investors and operators.
The Minister will also deliver a paper “Mining for Shared Prosperity: Why Nigeria, Why Now” on the opening day of the conference which is renowned as one of the leading fora for facilitating discussions on how to grow investments and participation in the African Mining space.
Nigeria was a major focus at the conference last year following the discovery, by an Australian firm, of a huge deposit of Nickel in Kaduna State. The Minister is expected to provide an update on the mineral among other issues, during the conference.
According to a statement by the Ministry, Nigeria’s participation at this year’s conference is expected to serve the following strategic objectives: “Signal to the international mining community, the country’s economic policy priorities which focus on the diversification of Nigeria’s revenue base by repositioning the mining sector for greater productivity.
“Showcase to potential investors, investment opportunities in the mining sector in Nigeria, existing incentives and on going reforms.
“Take advantage of the attendance of key decision makers and influencers in the industry from all over the world to engage in high-level Economic Diplomacy, to address the misconceptions about Nigeria’s mining industry and business environment in general, that accounts for her low ranking on the global mining policy perception and ease-of-doing-business indices.
“Network with other government delegates (especially of African countries) and representatives of multilateral organizations, to explore potential areas of cooperation and to ensure Nigeria takes a lead and visible role in advancing the objectives of the African Mining Vision (AVM).
“Ensure robust tracking of the competitive activities of other mining countries towards identifying ways through which Nigeria can improve the marketability and competitiveness of our mining industry.
“Use the opportunity to learn best industry practices around the globe as well as new and improved technology or techniques adopted for mining operations and geological data gathering in other mining jurisdictions.”
In the meantime, to paraphrase a former U.S. secretary of state, Britain has lost a community but not yet found a friend.
That the island is adrift became ever clearer last week as British officials made little progress in their third round of talks over the best way to exit the European Union.
While negotiators wait to get the preliminaries out of the way so substantive talks can begin, the real question may be how much more dependent has Brexit made the United Kingdom on the United States? British leaders know they must build trade alliances, and Theresa May’s government is trying.
The British prime minister went to Japan this week to press for a bilateral agreement along the lines of the trade treaty Japan is about to sign with the EU, but Japanese leaders are cautious, delaying discussions until Britain’s position becomes clearer.
Punch with additional report from Vanguard