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Oil price constipation: FG to feast on bitumen



The Federal Government has disclosed its partnership with Chevron Nigeria on the mining and exploitation of bitumen in some parts of the country, majorly in Ondo State. The proposed mining and exploitation of bitumen, according to Musa Sada, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, would be undertaken and financed by Chevron Nigeria Limited, a joint venture between Chevron International and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as a replacement for crude oil exports.
Speaking with BusinessDay at the commissioning of Standard Metallurgical Company (SMC), an integrated steel mill in Shagamu, Ogun State, Sada declared that the Federal Government partnered Chevron Nigeria on mining of bitumen because it (Chevron) has financial capacity and technical know-how to embark on the project.
He said that the government would leverage on bitumen exploitation and mining as a means of diversifying Nigerian economy from oil-dependent; to generate more revenue and create millions of jobs.
“We told Ondo State to find a competent technical partner which they did and currently, we are discussing with that person; we want a technology whereby you extract without necessarily tampering with the surface. The problem in the first instance when it was first bided and allocated to companies was they didn’t have financial capacity to exploit.
“That is why we started afresh. Now we have Chevron interested. These are the types of companies we want, because it is capital-intensive; you must have the money and technical know-how.”
Earlier, Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment noted that government had discovered iron and steel as well as other solid minerals as part of the products that would stabilise the nation’s economy and replace crude oil exports, saying the government’s mission was to pursue commodity-based industrialisation as part of industrial revolution of the Federal Government.


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