Southwest Can Compete Globally If Its Mineral Resources Are Developed- Prof. Damilola - DE-REPORTORIAL


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Sunday, August 8, 2021

Southwest Can Compete Globally If Its Mineral Resources Are Developed- Prof. Damilola

A Member of the board of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Professor Damilola Olawuyi has said that the Southwestern part of the country can compete globally if its mineral resources are developed.

It will be recalled that the Youngest Senior Advocate of Nigeria (Academic Section) was recently appointed by President Muhammad Buhari as a representative of the Southwest on the Board. 

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Afe Babalola University made this exclusively known to Nigerian Tribune during an interactive session via Zoom on Friday. 

Olawuyi explained that there are significant mineral deposits in the Southwest states like Oyo, Osun, Ondo as concretized and revealed on by the data released by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission.

He, therefore, stated that he would be meeting with the commissioners in the southwestern states in earnest discussing strategic ways to harness these potentials in order not to allow the country to solely focus on oil and gas when there are other things that boost the government 

Professor Damilola assured that the states would come together, map out innovative ideas in order to commercialize the resources for the betterment of the lives of its people. 

“If we develop our mineral resources, the Southwest can compete globally and become a hub. 

“In Nigeria when we talk of resources everyone talks about the Niger Delta due to oil and gas and the rest. 

“But, when you look at the significant deposits in the Southwest states in terms of mineral resources, you would see that many of these things are in the Southwest.

“Whether you are talking of Oyo, Ondo state and Osun, these are significant hubs for mineral resources development. 

“And the question is why are we not tapping into these resources for years and that is the question I will be asking when I start my engagement with all the commissioners in the Southwest.

“When you look at Osun state alone, we have enormous resources. Look at the DAWN(Development Agenda for Western Nigeria) Commission lists significant data showing that in the Southwest we have gold, oil and gas, limestone, granite, phosphate, bitumen, marble and so on. 

“And this is a credible date coming from the DAWN Commission. I think we can then begin to ask ourselves how we can strategically develop these resources. 

“I would like to know what the commissioners are doing in order to know how we can support them. I know some states are making progress and I would like to see how we can help them.

“So, expect me as the representative of the Southwest to have workshops, town hall meetings, etc. Also, I will be engaging with universities as well to see how we can promote credible research that can support mineral development in southwest states. 

“I want the Southwest states to be the equivalent of the Niger Delta in terms of mineral development.

“So, there is no reason why the Southwest cannot come together and map out innovative ideas through which we can begin to rapidly commercialize these resources for the betterment of the lives of our people.” Prof Damilola said.

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