The mining mood in Nigeria remains upbeat amid the announcement that the Nigeria Mining Week conference will proceed as a digital platform from 12-16 October this year while the event will reconvene as a live event in Abuja on 11-13 October 2021.
According to Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is safer to reschedule the Nigeria Mining Week proceedings for 2020, as we prioritize the safety of the participants. We look forward to engaging with the industry digitally this year and hope to be able to hold the event in 2021, in the second week of October.”
Nigeria Mining Week is organised by Miners Association of Nigeria in collaboration with PwC and Clarion Events Africa and is supported by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development. This year marks the fifth edition of the event, which has garnered increasing interest over the years.
The minister recently said that, “there’s no denying the fact that the pandemic has affected the mining community adversely. The community is spending this period to re-strategize so that when the pandemic is over we can once again hit the ground running.”
The President of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed Kankara, concurs and says in a statement that, “the global lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 has practically taught the world new ways of doing things and our annual Nigeria Mining Week is not exempted. Thanks to digital innovation that provides the platform for online interaction, the Miners Association of Nigeria, as the organizer of the annual event, hereby enjoins our members, donors, investors and other participants all over the world to link up to the virtual edition of Nigeria Mining Week 2020 and other digital platforms organized to whet our appetite for the main event.”
Successful transition to digital
Since the start of the pandemic and the resultant travel and movement restrictions, the event co-organisers Clarion Events Africa have made a successful and innovative transition from live events to digital and virtual conferencing and networking with several of its events across the continent proceeding to take place online.
“Virtual editions of industry and regionally leading events such as DRC Mining Week and African Utility Week have been very well received,” says David Ashdown, Managing Director of Clarion Events Africa. “It is clear that the industry is eager to engage, ask questions, find solutions and close deals. Our media division has been organising webinars for years and we have collaborated with them, and have been seamlessly running our events online, and will continue to do so as long as is necessary, while still managing to deliver a meaningful audience on a digital platform.”
He continues: “Moreover, we have an exciting list of topical webinars for those interested in investing in the Nigerian mining sector, which will take place on a regular basis in the run-up to the digital and live events this year and in 2021. So, watch this space, we are not going anywhere!”
Solid industry support
Leading mining sector players and longstanding partners of Nigeria Mining Week are supportive of the changes in the event’s format and dates, particularly as it concerns health and safety.
Mrs Emotan Josephine Aburime-Shine is the CEO of Emotan Global Ventures Limited, the returning platinum sponsors of the event: “Nigeria Mining Week is a great platform for the sector to be more visible.” She adds: “I would like the world to know that Nigerian minerals and metals wealth are 100 times greater than her oil wealth, and as we wake up and begin to realise this, this country will one day be labeled the land of milk and honey.”
“Given the unprecedented global pandemic we are currently facing,” says Segun Lawson, Chief Executive Officer, Thor Explorations, UK, “we understand the precautionary requirement to postpone Nigeria Mining Week 2020. We respect the decision to put health and safety of participants as a priority. We very much look forward to the event in 2021 where we will be a very supportive participant.”
“Although we are sad,” says Kevin Joseph, Managing Director, Nivek Mining, Nigeria, “considering the circumstances of this global pandemic we are all facing, it’s the safest thing to do. And even if we are unable to hold this very worthwhile Nigeria Mining Week conference this year, all is not lost in the mining industry here in Nigeria. We can, of course, hold digital events and webinars to continue to drive the Nigerian mineral extractive industry.”
He continues: “Our companies, based locally and very well connected internationally, must and will continue to support local initiatives of the MMSD, to continue to the growth of healthy project plans for the mining industry, here in Nigeria.”
Nigeria Mining Week