Nigeria’s failure to consolidate on the foundationmining dataal efforts of the British colonial regime in its mining sectors has been hinged on a dearth of the geological information system, a knowledge gap which deprives operators of well collated and analysed massive volumes of data on the landscape of operations.
This, Abubakar Bwari, the minister of state for mines and steel development, said, necessitated the collaboration between the British Geological Survey (BGS) and its agency, Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), towards the establishment of a Nigerian National Geodata Archiving system.
Receiving the representatives of BGS, Matt Harrison and Jenny Forster, at a meeting, the minister reiterated that data was key to developing the mining sector to the standard it attained during the colonial era, citing the coal mine in Enugu and the Jos tin mines and columbite mines, as footprints of the British mining activities in the country.
“We are retracing our steps and that is why we need to go back to the foundation and so it is not by accident that we are coming back to you. … We believe with your assistance and guidance, the data in your possession will help us in facilitating what we want, data we believe is key and without data, we will not be able to move forward in the sector,” the minister of state explained.
The establishment of Nigerian National Geo-data Archiving System, according to him, means that the ministry would bring all the geo-data in the industry into one format that is retrievable for investors. Adie explained that the BGS were in the country for a preliminary study which Nigeria has no financial obligations except logistics handling.
The Nigerian National Geo-data archiving system, he said, would be domiciled in NGSA, “the system will be based in NGSA, it will be operated by NGSA, it will train the NGSA staff on how to operate, it will expose them to the practices in other countries, it will be all-inclusive, and we should be able to have a new NGSA at the end of this project,” Adie stressed.