Nigeria and China have signed two Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on geosciences cooperation during the Nigeria- China Mining Investment Roadshow which held in Beijing, China.
The MoU provides for cooperation between the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) and the China Geological Survey (CGS) as well as between NGSA and the Shandong Provincial Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources of China.
The Director General, Nigeria Geological Survey Agency, Mr. Alex Nwegbu signed the MoU on behalf of the government of Nigeria while the Vice President, China Geological Survey, Mr. Wang Xiaolie signed for the People’s Republic of China and witnessed by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Honourable Abubakar Bawa Bwari and the Vice Minister of Land and Resources of China, Mr. Cao Weixing.
The MoU between NGSA and CGS centres around such areas as research and development of basic geology, geological maps compilation and regional mineralisation correlation, conduct of regional, national and geochemical mapping of Nigeria on various scales, Aero – Geophysical survey mineral resources and energy raw material exploration joint program in marine Geology Geoscience research and monitoring of geo-hazards, Hydro and environmental geological surveys.
While the MoU between NGSA and Shandong Provincial Bureau was to provide technical cooperation in the field of geosciences and mineral exploration as well as in the areas of detailed mineral exploration, evaluation and reports for gold and base metals, assembling, manufacture and marketing of geological and mineral exploration equipment and tools, provision of bankable feasibility reports and geosciences laboratory equipment and facility.
According to the Nigerian Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, and leader of the Nigerian delegation to the Nigeria-China Mining Investment Roadshow, Honourable Abubakar Bawa Bwari, the signing of the MoU came four years after the broader MoU on mining cooperation was signed in 2012.
The Minister said Nigeria has a rich geology outlay of mineral resources and China’s unprecedented demand for mineral raw materials for its industries positions Nigeria as a sure destination because of its highly underexplored and underexploited mineral resources.
He said that the implementation of the MoUs will lead to improved geo-sciences data generation and greater investor confidence in the mining sector. He assured Chinese investors of Nigeria’s readiness to provide enabling environment, predictable policy, legal and regulatory framework and security for prospective investors.
The Vice Minister of Land and Resources of China, Cao Weixing in his speech said the Nigeria-China Mining Investment Roadshow is another opportunity for both countries to build friendship, expand exchanges and promote win-win cooperation in the mining sector for mutual benefits. He said mining cooperation is a priority in China’s cooperation with Nigeria stating that in April 2016, the Presidents of Nigeria and China reaffirmed that the two countries would deepen their win-win cooperation in the mining sector for joint development.
Mr. Weixing said the two countries have a strong degree of economic complementarities with bright prospects and great potentials. According to him the mining community in China and Nigeria must seize the opportunity to push forward businesses for joint development.
He also suggested the need to maintain frequent exchanges of high-level visits and actively implement cooperation agreements. With the signing of the MoU in geosciences cooperation, Weixing advised that the two sides maintain the current strong momentum of high-level exchanges, take concrete steps to implement the MoUs, conduct active and practical cooperation and expand cooperation outcomes.
He also suggested that both countries implement cooperation projects on geosciences and promote geological capacity building in order to provide technological support to mining development in the future. He called for the need to promote information exchange and sharing and encourage business cooperation, adding that the Roadshow could serve as a platform to promote information sharing in the sector.
The Road Show which was aimed at attracting Chinese investments into the Nigerian mining sector attracted key Nigerian and Chinese government officials, companies and institutions in the entire mineral value chain.
Rhoda Ishaku Iliya
For: Deputy Director Press