For a Safer Earth, Healthier Climate

Nigeria Endowed With Bitumen Reserve Of 42.74bmt

-Ranked sixth in the world in reserve size.

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite has revealed that ‘Nigeria is endowed with a bitumen reserve size of 42.74 billion metric tonnes, which had remained unexploited for years.

He also revealed that the Nation had a proven reserve of coal valued at 639 million metric tonnes and a probable reserve put at 2.75 billion metric tonnes.

In a statement signed by the Minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Ayodeji Adeyemi, it said the Minister who spoke about the nation’s abundant bitumen reserves, said the country was ranked sixth in the world in reserve size,  was on track to developing its bitumen resources and would not need to import bitumen again.

Adegbite observed that local bitumen production would save the country foreign exchange spent on importing the mineral while generating income for the government and creating thousands of jobs. The minister disclosed

In his words “The nation is endowed with a bitumen reserve size of 42.74 billion metric tonnes, which had remained unexploited for years, and the country is now poised to begin the production of bitumen locally as it had appointed a transaction advisor to oversee the process.

“To ensure that Nigeria’s bitumen resources are fully harnessed for industrial and infrastructural development, I constituted a nine-member Ministerial Bitumen Development Committee on 31 January 2020. The Committee carried out an inventory of internal existing infrastructure; compiled available geological information; re-established contact with previous interested companies and developed a framework for transparent allocation of the Bitumen resources.’.

Adegbite also said the ongoing energy challenge in Europe occasioned by the Russian-Ukraine War has increased foreign interest in Nigeria’s coal.

The statement stated that Minister revealed this while delivering a lecture during the 2022 Annual reunion of the Old Boys Association of Government College Ibadan, at Gbongan Osun State, titled “The Mining Sector’s Pivotal Role in the Diversification of the Nigerian Economy”.

In his words” Our coal is one of the best in the world and easily convertible to energy. When I came into the office, coal was looked at, as being dirty. However due to the energy situation in Europe and because winter is coming Nigeria’s coal is attracting a lot of attention from major foreign investors”

The minister disclosed that the prime minister of Poland had made inquiries about the country’s coal as an alternative energy source for the European country, further disclosing that he had been invited by some Europeans to speak about Nigerian coal.

The minister also revealed that the enormous and abundant mineral resources spread across every part of the country have the potential to make the Nation great, while also uniting its citizens.”

“Several administrations had spoken in the past about diversification but had mostly paid lip service to the agenda, but this present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari has put its money where its mouth is by striving to diversify the economy essentially through two sectors Mining and Agriculture. This administration was the first to approve extra-budgetary funds for the sector. Indeed Mining can unite us as a nation as no state in Nigeria does not have a mineral resource” he said

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