In the first two quarters of June 2023, the Nigerian economy’s metal ore sub-sector, which is part of the mining industry, experienced the fastest growth rate of any sector, according to the most recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
In an era when most people’s attention is focused on technology and finance, Nigeria’s traditional sectors, metal ore and quarrying led the pack, capturing the top ranks in terms of economic growth for the second quarter of 2023, according to current data.
This sector, which includes iron ore, gold, copper, and other minerals, is attracting considerable investment interest in Nigeria’s vast geological endowments.
The metal ores industry rebounded substantially from a 1.97% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2022 to a GDP growth rate of 65.56% in the second quarter of 2023.
In addition, the industry experienced 52.56% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2023.
Another impressive growth area is the quarrying and other minerals industry, which increased by 39.18% in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
This industry covers stone, sand, clay, and other building and manufacturing materials.
The mining sector (excluding crude oil and coal mining) accounts for only 0.21% of GDP. Metal ore and quarrying have nominal GDP values of N38.5 billion, N464.9 billion, and N1.9 trillion, respectively.
Under the Buhari administration, the mining sector received a lot of attention because the government named it one of the main sectors in its economic diversification program.
The mining sector is expected to contribute up to 3% of GDP by 2023, according to the government’s National Development Plan.
To do this, the government implemented five main policies, including the establishment of an independent and well-resourced regulatory institution in charge of the mining industry’s orderly development.
They also intend to resurrect Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the Nigerian Iron Ore and Mining Company, as well as incorporate an Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining policy into a broader rural development strategy.
Additionally, they want to use the Natural Resources Development Fund more effectively and invest in better infrastructure to support this sector’s operations.
According to the report, the government intends to establish mining economic clusters with extensive backward and forward linkages centered on the minerals sector and the larger economy.
They will also invest in research and development and talent development to boost local knowledge generation and sector competitiveness.
Miners have also recently accused state governments of overregulating the industry, saying that some new governors have begun issuing executive orders prohibiting mining activities or attempting to regulate the industry.
The financial institutions industry grew by 29.23% in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
The financial institutions sector also maintained a constant growth rate of more than 10% in each of the preceding three quarters, indicating the financial system’s stability and resilience.
The waste management and remediation sector grew by 20.56% in the second quarter of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022.
Water supply, sewerage, waste management, and cleanup also recovered from a relatively low growth rate of 3.89% in the third quarter of 2022, which was caused by operational and maintenance issues.
In the second quarter of 2023, the telecommunications sector grew by 9.74% when compared to the same period in 2022.
The rising demand and consumption of these services by consumers and organizations has propelled this industry, which includes mobile and fixed telephony, internet services, broadcasting services, and other information and communication technologies.