Liberalizing Solid Mineral Sector Will Greatly Benefit Nigeria – Engr. Babatunde

He is an engineer with international experience, an international businessman with foreign experience as an industrial engineer in areas such as Machinery Pre- Shipment Inspection and Import Documentation Shanghai, China and Kowloon, Hongkong in June 1992. Technology Identification in London, England, in July 1992, Nigeria-Benin-Togo-Ghana Business summit Ghana  Accra 2009, Mine-Tech Conference and Exhibition 2009, Johannesburg, South Africa. USETEC Exhibition of construction technology Cologne Germany April 2011. He was a member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries delegate to Indian–African Business Summit, Hyderabad – Indian in October 2011. He is into solid mineral mining and processing manning a company that is one of the biggest producers of best and purest calcium carbonate in Nigeria. His company, Glister Success Limited pioneered the production of micronized calcium carbonate for high precision industrial applications. The company also commenced production of high grade coated calcium carbonate for cable metal and plastic pipes industries in 2012, this is first of its kind in West Africa. By his sheer dedication to duty and dexterity in the leadership, he won the 2011 award for being Best Calcium Carbonate Producer in Sub-Sahara Africa by Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology, Abuja. Meet the amiable, passionate and industrious trailblazer, Engr Chief Babatunde Bamidele, Excerpts:

Can we meet you, sir?

I am Engineer Babatunde Bamidele, Managing Director and CEO of Glister Success Limited pioneers in the production of micronized calcium carbonate for high precision industrial applications. We also began the production of high grade coated calcium carbonate for cable metal and plastic pipes industries in 2012, the first of its kind in West Africa. Before this time, these products were imported into the country.

Do you see any prospect for Nigeria to benefit from your industry as an alternative source of income for the nation?

Nigeria has a lot to benefit from the Solid Mineral resources in Nigeria, I can say without fear of contradiction that there is hardly any mineral resources that is available anywhere in the world that is not available in Nigeria. I think with the Mining Cadastre system backed with Mineral act of 2007, the FGN has done its parts because this has given investors adequate security of tenor however the regulatory authorities need to be transparent in their approach and oversight, the country will benefit immensely from the industry.

But we hear of Illegal miners, how can government deal with this menace?

These so-called illegal miners exist as a matter of necessity. Most of the miners see what they do as a means of livelihood and until government provide an alternative source of livelihood for these people, the fight against illegal mining will be difficult because we have them in thousands. My advice is that governments should introduce a scheme to accommodate these illegal miners, train them on modern ways of mining, just the way farmers are trained in modern ways of farming. Take it or leave it, these Illegal miners have become proficient in what they do, accommodating them and bringing them on board as legitimate miners, with appropriate license will allow government enjoy their existence in the industry. I am not trying to justify the illegality of what they do but my point is that they are created by the spate of poverty in the nation, and government must find a way of accommodating them so as to be productive to the society.

Are you suggesting that Government Issue licenses to Illegal Miners?

Yes, that is exactly my suggestion. The cost of obtaining the license should be made affordable and process transparent, I repeat, transparent. I know why am saying this. When the process is transparent and liberal, artisanal miners would be able to access the license and they would operate legally.

” The cost of obtaining the license should be made affordable and process transparent, I repeat, transparent. I know why am saying this. When the process is transparent and liberal, artisanal miners would be able to access the license and they would operate legally.”

What advice do you have for youths who want to come into mining as a vocation?

It is a very good environment for youths to be gainfully employed but they need to endure the gestation period before profits start rolling in. My problem with youths of these days is their unquenchable thirst for quick riches. It takes four to five years before profits start coming in as a miner so making riches overnight does not arise here

How did you come into mining as a vocation?

I started my career as an Industrial Engineer in Nigeria Industrial Development Bank and became investment officer whose duty was to appraise Industrial projects. A mining project around Kwara/Kogi corridor was appraised by me in 1992 and from there I developed interest. So in 1998, I promoted a mining project around Oke-Ogun axis of Oyo State, specifically Alagutan/Igbeti axis, bearing in mind that I was an Investment banker/ industrial engineer. I was able to let my experience bear on the running of the company and today we give glory to Almighty God.

How was it growing up?

I passed through normal childhood as it is in contemporary Nigerian society but as I would summarize it, It was not too rough but not smooth either during my childhood.

What advice do you have for youths passing through hard times and hoping for a better future?

Patience, perseverance and determination to succeed. Rome was not built in a day so whatever the youths see happening today is a product of long term efforts coming to fruition gradually.  When our youths start on a venture, they must remain focused and endure, business gain does not come in one day, it takes time but when the gains begin to roll in, then the entrepreneur is said to have been established. Patience is essential in the business venture.

“Patience, perseverance and determination to succeed. Rome was not built in a day so whatever the youths see happening today is a product of long term efforts coming to fruition gradually.  When our youths start on a venture, they must remain focused and endure, business gain does not come in one day, it takes time but when the gains begin to roll in, then the entrepreneur is said to have been established. Patience is essential in the business venture.”

What were the challenges associated with your work as a miner?

I will not take them as problems but rather as challenges and they are surmountable. One of it is the various regulations by government agencies on taxes and operations. Aside from this, we have the perception of host communities who think that the mineral deposits in their domain belong to them thereby coming to ask for their share in one form of the other and if not well managed it can create a lot of crisis. I think the government should find a way of controlling this so that investors are well protected from a hostile community.

“I will not take them as problems but rather as challenges and they are surmountable. One of it is the various regulations by government agencies on taxes and operations. Aside from this, we have the perception of host communities who think that the mineral deposits in their domain belong to them thereby coming to ask for their share in one form of the other and if not well managed it can create a lot of crisis. I think the government should find a way of controlling this so that investors are well protected from a hostile community.”

What are your suggestions to the government on repositioning the Mining and extractive industry?

My first suggestion is that the government should invite stakeholders, people who are practical on the job. If the government needs a true guide on making a headway in the mining and solid mineral sector, it is not the work of professors or academicians. We on the field have been through the reality on the field, we faced challenges and knows how it is, so formulating policies about that sector would be best done by us. The bottom line is liberalization of the solid minerals sector.

As a manager of men and resources would you like to join politics so as to be able to serve your people?

Well, If I am invited by my people, I will readily accept to serve them in any capacity but I will never come and contest any election under the present circumstances in Nigeria. If you remember the Hope 93 scenario that brought about June 12; that was a sad experience, I will not say more than that, but in my views, any of us doing business are already part of governance. We employ labour, pay taxes and engage in community development efforts

You are made a chief today by a traditional ruler; do you think the government should carve a role for traditional rulers in Nigeria?

Yes, traditional rulers are custodians of tradition. They are closer to the people than to the the government and if there is a problem in the society, the traditional rulers know the terrain and their people. They solve these problems with cultural intelligence better and faster than the government could do it. See what is happening in the northeast; it is due to the neglect of traditional institutions in those areas. The traditional rulers in the north also have their traditional roles to play over their subjects and these have been experienced over the years. Traditional rulers are like judges over their subjects over minor family and communal disputes so I am of the opinion that governments at all tiers should carve a role for the traditional rulers and make it a constitutional duty for them.

Lets come personal, how did you meet your wife?

We are from the same place; my father noticed that we were getting close and he called to ask me how serious I was and I answered in affirmative. I went for my national service before I came back, my father had gone to her family, spoke to them about possible marriage between his son and their daughter, and eventually, we became married because I knew I needed her in my life especially in character.

Engr. (Chief) & Chief Mrs Bamidele recently at their chieftaincy ceremony at Ikoyi Ile, Oyo State

Why did you choose to marry only one wife?

At the beginning God created one man, one woman so when God created me as a man, he created for me a woman and that is my wife in whom I am well pleased. I have a mother in her. She has given me all that I need in life; beautiful and intelligent children, peace of mind, happiness and sound advice. She is my pillar of support and I thank God for a woman like her in my life; what then will I need a second wife for? She is a mother figure to me, I thank God always.

“he created for me a woman and that is my wife in whom I am well pleased. I have a mother in her. She has given me all that I need in life; beautiful and intelligent children, peace of mind, happiness and sound advice. She is my pillar of support and I thank God for a woman like her in my life”

 

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Pin It on Pinterest