The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite, has said the Federal Government is set to ban barite importation in Nigeria.
He revealed this at a 1-day Stakeholders Forum on Local Barite Development in Nigeria’ held in Abuja.
According to him, the repeated importation of barite has led to a high capital flight and exportation of jobs from the nation.
He added that from the latest demand and gap analysis which showed that out of the total value of the country’s industrial minerals imports 4 years ago, barite represented 3.6 per cent.
His words, “In line with this objective, the ministry facilitated the development of an industrial mineral road map aimed at optimizing Nigeria’s industrial minerals to meet the standards of the manufacturing, industrial, and construction industry and to reduce import dependency. The road map delineated seven key minerals for quick development of which barite is one of them.
“Evidence from our recent demand/gap analysis shows that out of the total value of Nigeria’s industrial minerals imports in 2016, barite represented 3.6 per cent. The country spends millions of hard earned dollars every year importing barite, a mineral we are abundantly endowed with in the northern part of the country. With each import of barite we are shipping thousands of jobs from our country to other countries.
“The long term plan is to place a ban on the importation of Barite once the local market is satisfied and, export Barite to other African countries where oil and gas drilling activities are taking place. This will lead to jobs creation and boost the nation’s revenue base.”
“This is why I am quite delighted to initiate a road map for the development of barite that would reverse this trend. We are creating a new framework that would promote the local production of barites that meets international acceptable standards.
“To meet our overarching objective, we have mapped out a development strategy towards creating a sustainable industry in Nigeria to support, regulate and monitor stakeholders along the Barite value chain.
“This process will assist local companies with proven reserves that meet the industry standards to develop capacity and close the demand/supply gap that exists in the country currently in the short term.”