Nigeria Discovers 44 Economically Viable Solid Mineral Deposits

 

Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake, says his ministry has discovered about forty-four (44) economically viable solid mineral deposits in the country, which are in high global demand.

Alake made the assertion on Wednesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Solid Minerals to defend the 2024 budget proposal of his ministry.

“Conservatively, the worth of mineral deposits in the country stand at over $700bn dollars. They are yet to be tapped commercially owing to institutional bottlenecks.

“With the right investment, the country could become the hub for solid minerals,” he pointed out.

The minister also stated that the twenty- nine billion naira (N29,000,000,000) allocated to his ministry in the 2024 Appropriation Bill was grossly inadequate and, therefore, appealed to the lawmakers to increase the budget.

“What we have is N24bn and this is a non-starter. For this ministry to contribute at least 50 per cent of the nation’s GDP, we need the sum of N250bn to take care of exploration. If we are given that amount of money, I can tell you that what the ministry will contribute will outweigh other ministries, including what we are deriving from oil.

“We cannot leave exploration in the hands of private sector. If we do that, they will keep part of the date for pecuniary purposes.

“We can return trillions to the coffers of this country as revenue, if we are given such a budget as proposed,” Alake appealed

Influential Nigerians Back lllegal Miners Up

The Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake, also claimed that influential Nigerians are right behind illegal miners in the country, fuelling banditry and other forms of insecurity.

He affirmed that illegal miners found at mining sites have very powerful Nigerians backing them up. The minister, however, said that the government was making efforts to identify these individuals.

“One discovery that we have made is that a lot of these insecurities and banditry associated with this sector are sponsored by illegal miners.

“These are not your artisan miners. They are not the people who pick gold on the ground. These are heavy and powerful individuals in our country. They are Nigerians and not foreigners.

“Yes, you can see foreigners as symptoms, but they are not the basics. Nigerians are the powers behind those foreigners that you see on the streets. We are identifying them and employing various strategies, both kinetic and non-kinetic.

“The non-kinetic with artisan miners… I gave them an ultimatum that they should form themselves into cooperatives because every Nigerian has a right to life and necessities, and if the government cannot provide these necessities, we cannot push them into the bush,” Mr Alake said.

VON

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