Nigeria has much wealth buried underground.

But with crude oil spinning out so much money for the government, every other resource, including the lucrative mining sector, remains on the bench.

The volatility of the oil sector has caused revenue shortfalls for the government and the push for diversified income streams is intensifying.

That is why the Buhari-led government is considering investing heavily in the mining sector.

On Wednesday, Minister of State for solid minerals, Abubakar Bawa Bwari announced that Nigeria will offer a 12.7-billion-naira mining contract to eight companies in exploration and consultancy, adding that both foreign and local firms are encouraged to participate.

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“Today the Federal Executive Council approved the contract for exploration and consultancy on some of our targeted minerals - like gold, industrial minerals, earth metals, iron ore - for four companies in exploration and four companies in consultancy,” said Bwari.

Bwari said the exploration and consultancy work would result in data that would encourage potential mining firms to invest in Nigeria.

“Our major challenge is the bankable data, most mining companies will not want to come into your country when they are not sure of what they are going to meet,” he said.

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