A World Bank consultant, Vitor Carrieia has said that the global financial agency has concluded a $123.5 million deal with the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The deal, Carrieia said is for the exploration of industrial minerals in Nigeria. Carrieia made the disclosure while unveiling the Industrial Minerals Roadmap, a document that will be implemented over a period of five years.
According to Carrieia, there was no need for Nigerians to import some minerals, adding that the World Bank will explore areas to use the minerals as well as support the drive to project them in Nigeria.
“We need geosciences data and legal framework to enable us to work towards actualising the plan for Nigeria. This would make the government 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.
“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.” – Bwari
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.