HomeFeatures & AnalysisExclusive interview with Alhaji Sani Shehu, President of Miners Association of Nigeria

Exclusive interview with Alhaji Sani Shehu, President of Miners Association of Nigeria

1) Last year, you were part of the inaugural iPAD Nigeria Mining Forum – what were your impressions? How important is this event in your view?man_pres
My impression of the iPad 2015 was that of excitement. It was interesting to see operators and Government officials thinking in the same direction at salvaging the challenges of the mining industry in Nigeria. The event is important because it succeeded in creating a forum where industry challenges were identified,solutions proffered and business linkages were made.

2) Please give us some background and history of the Miners Association of Nigeria?
The Miners Association of Nigeria MAN, previously known as the Association of African Miners, was formed in 1944 as a trade union to protect and promote African mine workers as no African was allowed to own a mine before African countries got their independence. After the independence of African countries, Africans were allowed to become mine owners, formed their respective chambers of mines  / associations and redefined their objectives.The new objective is to promote and protect their business.
MAN has 32 state chapters and 4 affiliate associations :
Dimension Stones Association of Nigeria
Gemstones Association of Nigeria
Association of Metal Exporter of Nigeria
Gypsum Association of Nigeria

With its headquarters in the federal capital Abuja, the MAN is the umbrella body for mining operators in Nigeria. Membership of MAN cuts across all categories of operators who are largely small scale but big scale (in the Nigerian  sense), some construction companies by the virtue of their quarry activities got interested in what we are doing and registered with  MAN as members.

Our services include but are not limited to the following;
-Extension services
-Visa recommendation
-Loan recommendation
-Business and partnership facilitation
-Follow up for their documentation
-Settlement of disputes among members and between members and mining communities
-Interfacing between Government at all level and our members. The Association has a good working relationship with Government at all levels as well as with Embassies,National Assembly, Civil Society, security etc.

3) How would you describe your role in the mining industry?
Watchdog of the mining industry.

4) What kind of projects are you running for your members in the mining industry that you are involved in that you are particularly excited about?
Miners Mechanization programme and a miner’s online marketing domain.

5) What do you see as the main challenges in the industry?

6) What role can/should the government play in the sector in your view?
The Government should continue to be regulator while putting critical requirements such as infrastructure, skills and funding in place for accelerated development of the sector.

7) What is your vision for the industry?
An industry that can provide massive job creation, raw materials for our industries and income for the Government.

8) What did you decide to participate again with iPAD Nigeria Mining & Quarrying Forum?
A highly exciting experience.

9) What will be your message at the event?
They should investigate the impact of its deliverables last year and improve on it.

10) Why the decision to join forces with Spintelligent and PWC Nigeria to form the Nigeria Mining Week?
A national mining event, which is hoped to grow into an international event, should require a team work for those with interest and expertise. PwC has high interest in mining development in Nigeria. Spintelligent has the expertise in event organization in Africa. The Miners Association of Nigeria has wide coverage and impact within the mining industry in Nigeria. Given the above position, I think it makes sense for the partnership to work towards achieving an international, annual mining event: Nigeria Mining Week, much like the Mining Indaba in South Africa, FDAC in Canada, Mines and Money in London etc.

11) What are your expectations for the Nigeria Mining Week?
My expectations for the Nigeria Mining Week include, but are not limited to the following:
a) To discuss and analyse the recently approved Mining Road-map with the view for operators to play their expected role to achieve the desired aspirations.
b) To expose Nigerian minerals’ potentials to attract foreign investors.
c) To set up a follow-up mechanism to see to the implementation of the communique reached at the end of the event.
d) To be a continuation of the journey that will terminate at an international annual mining event for Nigeria.

12) Anything else you would like the industry to know about Nigeria Mining Week?
The industry should know that with the renewed Government interest in mining development in Nigeria and the incentives such as tax holidays, removal of export duty for mining equipment and readiness of indigenous operators to partner with foreign investors, Nigeria is now a re-emerging mining nation worth exploring.