JUST IN: FG bans processing of Nigeria’s mineral resources abroad

The Federal Government has effected a new policy, which makes it imperative for mining companies interested in using its solid minerals to set up their plants in country and process such materials rather than ferrying them away to process abroad.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr. Dele Alake, disclosed the development while briefing the media as part of the one-year anniversary of the President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

Alake said announced that in order to prove the seriousness of the administration to the development f the Solid Mineral sector, the ministry has revoked the mining licenses of no fewer than nine thousand dormant companies, that got approvals but did not use the licenses to produce anything.

The minister announced that although the dormant licenses were promptly revoked by the Tinubu’s administration, it had also put in motion new policies that have attracted no fewer than 10,000 new applications for licences, out of which 4000 new ones have been issued to applicants.

Alake boasted that the Tinubu administration was determined to turn the solid mineral industry into a major economic sector to compete favourably with the oil and gas industry and create new source of wealth for Nigeria.

The minister spoke just as his Steel Development counterpart, Mr. Shuaib Audu Abubakar, revealed that the federal government had approved the sourcing of $25 million to revive the Ajaokuta Steel Plant in Kogi State, starting with the production of iron rods for the construction industry.

Abubakar said that the ministry was at the final state of obtaining private sector funding to get the plant partially producing important military hardware and save the country from importing the core items abroad.

Abubakar stated that the ministry was also deliberating on the desirability of bringing back the Russian firm that constructed the Ajaokuta steel plant or engaging other companies from China, India and Nigerians to get the place working maximally for the benefit of the country.

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