The World Bank has concluded a deal with the Federal Government to invest $123.5 million in the exploration of industrial minerals in Nigeria.The Consultant, Vitor Carrieia, disclosed yesterday in Abuja while unveiling the Industrial Minerals Roadmap that the document has a five-year implementation period.
He stated that there was no need for Nigerians to import these minerals, adding that they would explore areas to use them as well as support the drive to project them in the country.
"We need geosciences data and legal framework to enable us work towards actualising the plan for Nigeria. This would make the government to diversify its economy," Carrieia added.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, noted that the global financial body developed the document with a wide range of applications.He explained that they would be used in a variety of industries such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, adding that it would facilitate inter-sector linkages and import substitution.
He said: "In 2016,we launched a roadmap that seeks to build a world class minerals and mining ecosystem. This will serve targeted domestic and export markets as well as winning over domestic users."
According to him, government's desire is to implement strategies that could bridge up the gap of the 626,921 yearly tonnes that currently exist in local production, but being addressed with an importation cost of $44.5 million.The minister added that industrial minerals exist here, which could be developed and exploited to fill the lapse for export to attract foreign exchange earnings to the country.