• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Nigeria mineral deposits worth over $700bn -Alake

Nigeria revokes 924dormant mining licences, eyes new investors

…woos investors

Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development, has put the value of Nigeria’s mineral deposits at over $700 billion and urged foreign investors to look in the direction of the country.

Alake, who spoke on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, stated that the shift from fossil-based energy systems to renewable energy shows that Nigeria is now shifting attention to the solid minerals sector.

He said, “Without a doubt, minerals are a major focus of our world today and rightly so. Nigeria is well-positioned to play an important role in our new world. Our Solid mineral sector is valued at over $700 billion and we know there is more to be discovered. Endowed with critical minerals, Nigeria should not and dare I say, cannot be ignored.

“We may not have a strong historic mining history like some of our neighbours such as Ghana, Mali and those in the South such as South Africa, Botswana, but things are about to change.”

In a statement issued by Alaba Balogun, the deputy director of Information, at the ministry, Alake noted that Nigeria is endowed with a vast deposit of minerals critical to developments ongoing around the globe.

For him, new world mobility requires a new form of energy driven by minerals in the new electric vehicle, adding that energy source will depend more on the energy converted from the sun and other sources.

Read also: Why Nigeria’s solid minerals sector is crawling

“This does not have any reversal in sight and demand will only continue particularly as the world seeks and envisions a lower carbon future where environment, social and governance (ESG) factors are prioritised in governance and investment decisions. Therefore, minerals are at the forefront,” he said.

Speaking broadly of the continent, Alake said Africa was fit for the driver’s seat of the global energy transition that would be driven by critical minerals.

He said Nigeria occupied a special position in global energy discourse, with a vital role as a key oil exporter during the era of hydrocarbon and became a top 10 exporter of oil. He noted that as the face of global energy changes, Nigeria once again emerges as a key supplier of gas which ‘we know is an important energy transition fuel today.’

Speaking further, Alake disclosed that Lithium-hosted pegmatite rocks are available in Nigeria across states such as Nasarawa, Kwara, Oyo, Abuja, Kebbi and much more. Graphite is found in Kaduna.

“Platinum group minerals can be seen in the middle belt such as Benue and other regions. We have nickel in Kaduna and other locations. Zinc which is vital to offshore and onshore wind power generation has been a mainstay in Nigeria and is available in Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Plateau and many other Nigerian states.

“It is clear that Nigeria is important to the world and we are ready for investment, collaboration and partnerships in our solid mineral sector. Our President Bola Tinubu has made the solid mineral development sector vital in his administration and we are committed to making it a key contributor to our national GDP. A lot of work has been done in the sector under former administrations and we plan to take it further. Nigeria is prime to becoming a mining destination on the continent and it will happen in our time,” he said.

Incentives available for potential investors, according to the minister, include 95 percent capital allowances of qualifying capital expenditure; up to three-five-year tax holidays; possible capitalisation of expenditure on exploration and surveys and free transferability of foreign currency through the Central Bank of Nigeria for servicing of foreign loans and remittances of foreign capital and more.