……signs MoU with East China metallurgical Institute of Geology and Exploration
The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has recorded another milestone in its quest to provide requisite data for big time investors interested in mining in Nigeria.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) between the East China Metallurgical Institute of Geology and Exploration and the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development Hon Abubakar Bawa Bwari said the event underscores the importance that the ministry places on exploration.
“There is no mining without exploration and getting the requisite data for our solid mineral sector will continue to be our priority,” he said.
He explained that the agreement was the outcome of negotiations following his visit to the East China Institute during last year’s China Mining Conference in Tianjin where the institute impressed him with its technical expertise and experience in mining exploration.
Hon Bwari said exploration/data gathering is the one area in which we have a huge gap; it is an area Federal government intends to give its full attention. “However, the cost of exploration is too prohibitive for government to do it alone and that is why we have been having discussions with other mining countries to assist Nigeria in the area of exploration,” he further explained.
He said the MoU is an addition to the many MoUs the Ministry now have with countries like China, Morrocco and South Africa and expressed confidence in the East China Metallurgical Institute of Geology and Exploration to keep its part of the agreement and contribute positively to the exploration efforts in the mining sector as they have done in other countries.
Earlier in his address, the Director General of the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA); Mr. Alex Ndubuisi Nwegbu said one of the agenda of the Federal Government is to diversify the economy and critical to the success of this diversification is the mining sector.
He said, Federal Government has invested much on data generation, “we have covered the country in terms of airborne geophysics, geological mapping, geochemical mapping and now, we are at the threshold of embarking on a very massive exploration programme, to explore for critical minerals important for diversification and economic growth’.
He noted that the generation of data is not the exclusive prerogative of government hence the reason for opening up the frontiers for others to participate in the effort. “We are privileged to have the East China as one of those who are serious minded in terms of assisting Nigeria in generating this data to move the exploration forward and the interesting thing is that East china has the requisite capacity in terms of finance and expertise.”
The head of delegation of the East China Metallurgical Institute of Geology and Exploration, Paul Ogbe Kaizer, added that the organization has seen a new focus on diversifying Nigeria’s economy under the present government.
“We have seen such intensity to be able to achieve, and it is in line with this that we are here today to build up the data base for the critical minerals deposit in Nigeria, so that with this, we can attract investment in this sector,” he expatiated.
For: Director Press