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Nigeria to establish six mineral centers to boost economy

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In a move geared towards the diversification of Nigeria’s economy, the Federal Government has moved to establish six mineral centres in the six geo-political zones of the country to boost the mining sector and economy.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, disclosed this to journalists on Sunday in Abuja.

He said the establishment of the centers was part of President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s commitment to diversify the country’s economy, by developing key sectors such as the solid minerals.

According to the minister, the centres are also part of the government’s commitment to promoting value addition to its minerals and ensuring multiplier effects on the economy.

He said: “We have our minerals all over the country and we cannot concentrate the mineral processing centres in one area, and as we speak those plans are ongoing in the zones.”

Alake added that the government has developed a new policy to ensure that Nigeria derives maximum value from all minerals extracted from the country.

READ ALSO: Powerful Nigerians in illegal mining are the ones funding banditry, terrorism —Minister, Alake

He stressed that investors in the past extracted raw mineral resources from Nigeria without adding value to them.

“Lithium is one of the finest qualities in the world, and it has other associated minerals like nickel, cobalt, and copper.

“So, when an operator takes an ounce of our Lithium out of Nigeria, perhaps he declares Lithium. But when he gets to his host country, he now has other associated minerals to his gain and the loss of Nigeria.

“So, our major policy which we enacted is that, henceforth, we would no longer approve applications from an investor that does not show us a concrete plan for local value addition.

“Which means processing here to add local value addition, and this will generate a multiplier effect like local employment, technology, and skills transfer,” the minister added.

By: Baabajide Okeowo

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