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NASENI to seek policy to ban export of strategic raw minerals 

L-R:  Dr. Bashir Gwandu, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of NASENI (l), Receiving a Geological Map of Solid Minerals in Nigeria from Dr. Abdulrazak Garba of NGSA, During the Latter's Working Visit to NASENI Headquarters, in Abuja, FCT      Photo: NASENI

*The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure partners with Geological Survey Agency, while seeking further collaborations with others to identify the compositions of several strategic raw materials to ensure the end-products are produced locally to add value to the Nigerian economy

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has said the regulatory agency plans to seek a national policy that will stop export of strategic solid minerals overseas in order to domesticate production of end-products locally.

ConsumerConnect reports NASENI is now partnering the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) to identify, analyse and profile different strategic minerals with a view to domesticating local production of end-products that can result from such minerals in the economy.

Dr. Bashir Gwandu, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NASENI, disclosed this development when he received Dr. Abdulrazaq A. Garba, Director-General of Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), who was on a working visit to NASENI headquarters Monday, July 31, 2023, in Abuja, FCT.

Mr. Olusegun Ayeoyenika, Director Information and  Protocol at NASENI, in a statement, said that the two agencies agreed to work on possible areas of collaborations on how to domesticate the end-products that can result from the abundant mineral resources in the West African country.

The Agency, Ayeoyenika, noted this collaboration is to enable Nigeria to create jobs, improve the economy, and reduce capital flights by encouraging potential investors to set up processing plants for local production.

Speaking at the meeting in Abuja, Dr. Gwandu affirmed that Nigeria has several strategic raw materials, and must focus on processing of its solid minerals through a policy that would stop the exportation of certain raw materials and encourage investors, especially international manufacturers to come and establish their plants and produce locally.


Exploring and exploiting abundance solid minerals in Nigeria

Citing examples of lithium, titanium, low grade cobalt, nickel, tungsten ore, copper, phosphate, and kaolin which are in large quantities across the country, NASENI EVC/CEO said undocumented or artisanal miners were exporting thousands of tonnes of lithium weekly without knowing the value of other associated minerals, such as rubidium and cesium in the lithium.

Gwandu further explained that since electric vehicle (EV) battery can be made from it, he has invited some foreign companies from around the world that produce batteries, including Chinese investors, to discuss ways of ensuring that lithium batteries are manufactured locally in Nigeria.

He stated: “We have a lot of phosphate in many states such as Sokoto and Kebbi and lithium is in abundance in Nigeria especially Kebbi, Nasarawa and Kwara states.

“Lithium phosphate is cheaper than other combinations and we also have lithium ion and lithium manganese.”

The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Agency also said: “We want to start from assembly plants in the first instance while we await the actual production facility of the raw materials for the production of lithium batteries.

“We can develop assembling capacity even before we can have the main factory.”

Gwandu as well noted: “We have the raw materials, and we are going to produce something that would have direct impact on our economy.

“We cannot continue to be exporting raw materials and import finished goods only.”

The NASENI Chief Executive stated: “We can use our resources in areas of technology to process the materials.

“It will be good if we put a policy that will limit export of raw materials so that companies will come and partner with us and produce locally.”

According to him, the Agency seeks to partner with agencies that will work together to figure out the compositions of the raw materials in the country and make sure that the end-products are locally produced that will add value to the economy.

NASENI is ready to work together with NGSA on strategic solid minerals and other products that can have direct positive impact on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while limiting our Forex spending, Gwandu said.


We’re ready to work with NASENI creation of more laboratories for scientific researches, mineral analysis: NGSA Director-General

Responding, Dr. Garba related that NGSA was first established in 1919. He stated that he was excited that NASENI established an Institute in Nasarawa State of Nigeria for solid minerals research.

The NGSA Director-General pledged that he would work with NASENI on creation of more laboratories for scientific researches and mineral analysis in the country.

Garba also mentioned the need for Nigerian Agencies to synergise and work together in ensuring the raw materials scattered all over the country are harnessed and processed as they will not only add value to the nation’s economy, but also create job opportunities and create wealth.

He further said: “If we can have a synergy, we can take it beyond this, and we can begin to domesticate the use of raw materials.

“We have the composition and details of the location of so many of them.”

The Director-General noted: “What we need is to work together to domesticate industrial minerals processing.

“So, we are here to seek collaboration on technological development and domestication of the use of our industrial minerals.”

NASENI added the two regulatory agencies as well agreed to work together on the national policy to ban exportation of strategic minerals at the highest levels of the Nigerian Government.

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