The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expressed its preparedness to assist the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in resolving some of the challenges faced in the solid minerals sector through commodities exchanges.

The commission made the pledge when a delegation led by its Director General (SEC), Dr. Lamido Yuguda, paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development headquarters in Abuja.

Yuguda, whose visit was to discuss areas of collaboration, expressed the commission’s preparedness in assisting the ministry in resolving some of the challenges faced in the solid minerals sector through commodities exchanges.

He disclosed further that as part of measures to contribute to the growth of the sector, the commission is planning a webinar that would bring together stakeholders in the mining and solid minerals sector and the commodities exchanges ecosystem to look at ways of enhancing the value the commodities exchanges could bring to the sector.

Responding, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, noted that the ministry, in its efforts and determination to develop and grow the sector and use it as an alternative source of revenue generation for the country, is collaborating with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) for funds mobilization to boost exploration in the sector.

Ogah, in a statement Sunday by the ministry’s Director of Press, Mrs Etore Thomas, said the collaboration between his ministry and SEC was long overdue, noting that the sector is highly capital intensive.

He stressed that funding exploration projects has been a challenge in the industry, but however revealed that the federal government, in a view to supporting the sector, started the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP), which is aimed at carrying out integrated exploration to de-risk the mining sector and provide geoscience data.

“Equally, federal government has initiated the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative (PAGMI) from which the ministry has presented the first locally sourced gold bar to the president, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as off-taker,” he said.

Ogah disclosed that having an organised funding window like the Commodity Exchange Platform could provide a great support for the mineral and mining sector, especially in the areas of funding and commodity trade.

He assured his guests of the ministry’s participation in the commission’s forthcoming webinar and enjoined the commission to avail the ministry with all necessary information it would need to fully participate at the event.

In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. (Mrs) Oluwatoyin Akinlade, stated that the synergy is a milestone as it would help the mines ministry to get funds and achieve its mandate of exploration, adding that solid minerals is the way to go for the future.

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