The minister of solid minerals development, Dele Alake, has estimated the monetary worth of Nigeria mineral reserves to exceed a staggering $700 billion. In light of this, he implores foreign investors to set their focus towards the promising prospects that lie within the country. While speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Alake expressed that Nigeria transition from fossil-based energy systems to renewable energy is an indicative of Nigeria current redirection of focus towards the solid minerals sector.
He stated unequivocally that minerals are of paramount importance in today’s globe, adding that Nigeria is strategically positioned to contribute in this emerging market. The valuation of our Solid mineral sector surpasses $700 billion, and it is evident that there are further untapped resources to be discovered. With its abundant reserves of critical minerals, Nigeria ought not to be ignored. Although the country lacks a robust mining history like its neighbouring nations like Ghana, Mali, and those in the southern region such as South Africa and Botswana, it is poised for a transformative shift.
Africa possesses capability to lead the global energy transition.
In a communiqué issued by Alaba Balogun, the deputy director of Information at the ministry, Alake underscored the fact that Nigeria possesses an extensive reserve of minerals that are pivotal to the ongoing advancements transpiring worldwide. From his perspective, the advent of contemporary global mobility necessitates a novel manifestation of energy, one propelled by minerals within the area of electric vehicles. Furthermore, he assumes that the sustenance of said energy will increasingly rely upon the conversion of solar energy and other similar sources.
However, he said that there is no discernible prospect of a reversal, and the demand will persist unabated, especially as the global community aspires for a more sustainable future with a reduced carbon footprint where environment, social and governance (ESG) factors are prioritized in governance and investment decisions, therefore, minerals are at the forefront. Alake posited that Africa possesses the inherent capability to assume a position of prominence in steering the course of the global energy transition, a paradigm shift propelled by the indispensability of critical minerals.
Numerous states in Nigeria possess lithium-hosted pegmatite rock.
During the era of hydrocarbons, he noted that Nigeria played a pivotal role as an oil exporter and rose to the ranks of the world’s top 10 oil exporters. As the world’s demand for energy shifts, he said, Nigeria is yet again positioned to play a significant role as a supplier of gas. Alake continued by saying that numerous states in Nigeria possess lithium-hosted pegmatite rocks. These states include Nasarawa, Kwara, Oyo, Abuja, Kebbi, and many more. Kaduna is a graphite mining centre.
Middle belt regions like Benue and others have deposits of platinum group minerals. Nickel can be found in Kaduna and other regions in Nigeria. Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Plateau, and many other states in Nigeria have large supplies of zinc, a mineral essential to both offshore and onshore wind power generation. Nigeria solid mineral sector has global significance, and the country is prepared to attract foreign investment, cooperation, and partnerships. The president of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, has made the solid mineral development sector a priority, and dedicated to make it a significant economic driver for the country, he said.
Potential investors can take advantage of a number of incentives.
Moreover, Alake noted that the industry has already seen significant progress under previous administrations, on which the current one intends to build upon. He predicted that Nigeria would soon become a major mining hub on the African continent. Potential investors can take advantage of a number of incentives, including tax holidays of up to three to five years, possible capitalization of exploration and survey costs, free transferability of foreign currency through the Central Bank of Nigeria for servicing of foreign loans and remittances of foreign capital, and more.