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EU budgets $10m to boost mineral exploration in Africa


(FILES) This file photo taken on February 20, 2017 shows a European Union flag flying in front of Elizabeth Tower, otherwise known as Big Ben./ AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS

NABRO to play key role in 2018 budget, says rep

The European Union (EU) has earmarked $10 million to train professionals in mineral exploration in Nigeria and 18 African countries.The Project Manager Africa, Riitta Teerilahti, disclosed this at a PanAfGeo workshop in Abuja.

She said the EU-African initiative is to increase geological knowledge in the continent to boost investment in the mining sector.Teerilahti explained that a consortium from 12 European countries, as well as EuroGeo Surveys (EGS) would implement the three-year project.
According to her, 1, 200 geologists from 54 countries would be trained under the second phase of the programme. She said 300 trainees would commence the training in the first half of 2018.

The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, noted that there was shortage of trained workers to accomplish the desire for the sector.He noted: “One of the biggest problems that African nations had faced in developing their mining sector is the dearth of high quality geosciences data and the absence of enough first rate mining engineers.”
Bwari also lamented the lack of capacity and inadequate management skill in the mining industry on the continental level.He added that the situation has deprived Africa from benefitting fully from its enormous mineral resources.
“Part of the benefits of the programme is to fasten the transfer of mining sector knowledge, build the skills acquisition capacity of the production and facilitate the provision of adequate equipment for the sector.“Knowledge-sharing events like this programme would help to actualise the mandate of attaining accurate and comparable geo scientific infrastructure to develop the upstream sector,” he said.
The President of the Organisation of African Geological Surveys (OAGS), Alex Ndubuisi, said the body has produced Geology and Minerals Map of Africa and a compilation of Atlas of African Geosites, on a scale of 1:5, 000, 000.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, Timothy Golu, yesterday disclosed that the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO) Bill, if passed, would play a key role in reducing budget-related controversies in the 2018 estimates.

President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to formally present the N8.6 trillion budget proposal to the joint session of National Assembly today.“When fully established, the NABRO Bill, which is awaiting the president’s accent, would make the budget consideration process less cumbersome and fast,” he said.He explained that NABRO would facilitate the collaboration between the executive and legislature arms to make budgets to be considered within a short time.

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