Minister faults exportation of crude oil, gas
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has said that Nigeria has made a lot of mistakes in the exportation of oil and gas outside the country.
Adegbite, who made the comment in Abuja while receiving a report on National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP), said the Federal Government was driving exploration activities in the mining sector to de-risk the sector to boost the economy.
He revealed that about $50 million has been spent on the project under the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP), between 2017 and 2021.
He said: “We made a lot of mistakes in oil and gas, on exporting raw products outside. Using a foreign exchange to import the finished products is not okay. So, we encourage whoever wants to partner with us to come and establish processes within the country to develop all.
“You are never sure of what is beneath the ground and at what quantity. That is the risk. Of course, it is high risk because you need to find out this fact which is data generated. Investors always shy away from this risk.
They do not want to risk their money and find out that there is nothing there.
“Oftentimes, the government has to undertake this. This is where we have to say thank you to President Muhammadu Buhari. He is the first president ever to have granted this type of funding.
“This was a well-thought-out project and the results are fantastic. The data are coming in and they tell us that we are very rich in mineralisation and the next phase is for us to market this so that it can bring in investors, yield revenue and create jobs for our people.”
“We have received two reports earlier in October and two today. Just one outstanding and then the project will be closed. We can now take the report in less technical format to the council that the money granted in 2017 has been judiciously expended and this is the result and we will ask for more finance”.
While presenting the report to the minister, Director General, Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Dr. Abdulrazaq Garba, said: “From the presentation, there has been a lot of focus on Nigeria, because what this report shows is that Nigerian economy is highly enriched up to 10 per cent worldwide global titles, and a lot of requests have been made about companies. These are companies that develop or produce electric vehicles, using the production of batteries that electric vehicles use.
“We have identified lead, zinc, silver and lithium in 133 prospect areas. Exploration is about looking for and is not a means to an end. So what we are saying is that from the results we are getting, if we are able to identify areas that are open at the mining cadastral, the government can carve out these areas and put it up for good investors to come and invest,” he said.