Minister Dele Alake has emphasized the Federal government’s shift towards bolstering domestic manufacturing rather than exclusively relying on raw material exports. This redirection has been accentuated through the introduction of new policies aimed at realizing this goal. During a conversation on November 29, 2023 in London, Alake addressed an investment dialogue with the British deputy premier, Oliver Dowden. The minister expressed that the country boasts substantial mineral reserves and stands open to collaborations with investors hailing from the United Kingdom.
Additionally, the minister highlighted President Bola Tinubu’s pivotal role in promoting Nigerian investment ventures. He also mentioned that Tinubu’s leadership has placed great emphasis on implementing value addition as a prominent strategy within the industry. According to Alake, our latest policy focuses on enhancing local value creation instead of simply exporting raw minerals. The primary aim is to boost the value of our mineral products. Britain should have a vested interest in the performance of Nigeria; its prosperity or decline should warrant genuine concern.
Meeting was to create a dialogue between the two countries.
Moreover, if Nigeria thrives, Britain can undoubtedly reap various advantages that arise from the vast array of opportunities presented. He informed everyone that the Nigerian team was open to engaging in a meeting with their British counterparts, in order to elevate the conversation to a more advanced stage. Dowden emphasized that as the head of Britain’s national economic security council, his focus lies in establishing a collaboration with Nigeria regarding valuable energy minerals, specifically lithium.
He remarked that the purpose of the meeting was to initiate a dialogue between the two nations, emphasizing that representatives from the trade and investor department would convene to meticulously establish the intricacies of the collaboration. The government’s policy on value addition received praise from the deputy prime minister, who believed that advancing along the value chain would pave the way for increased economic opportunities and partnerships between the two nations. Emphasizing the significance of the bilateral bond, he pointed out that, were the relations unfavourable, the procurement of supplies would not concern Britain.
Government is implementing stricter measures in the sector.
Dowden expressed agreement regarding the notion of value addition. The desirable outcome would be if the processing takes place in a developing nation that we find satisfactory, according to Dowden. Carousel Bio-Energy’s founder and partner, Jafar Hilali, expressed during the meeting his intention to intervene in all aspects of the lithium value chain, ultimately culminating in the creation of a lithium battery manufacturing facility. Hilali made a commitment to form a group of British businesses specializing in power supply, infrastructure, and lithium battery manufacturing. Their aim is to manufacture batteries capable of powering energy-efficient buses for Nigeria’s local market.
Meanwhile, in response to the overwhelming demand from foreign mining companies, Nigeria is implementing stricter regulations on the extraction of its lithium minerals. To ensure the country benefits from its resources, the government has declared that mining and exporting raw lithium will only be permitted if companies establish processing and refining facilities within Nigeria. Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Materials, emphasized the government’s commitment to preventing the exploitation of their valuable minerals without adding value.
Lithium mining flourishes in Nigerian states.
As well, the leading economic power in Africa is keen on capitalizing on the booming global lithium market which is in high demand for creating rechargeable batteries and electric cars. Nigeria has recently unearthed massive lithium deposits, triggering opportunities for substantial profits. Currently, lithium mining operations are flourishing in Nassarawa, Kogi, Kwara, Ekiti, and Cross River States. Africa’s largest lithium producer, Zimbabwe, along with Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, and Ghana are also fervently digging into this valuable mineral.