The acting Chief Executive Officer of NEXIM Bank, Mr. Bashir M. Wali, recently met with the Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar on how to explore opportunities in export-oriented investments in agro-processing, solid minerals and solid minerals, especially under the N500billion Export Stimulation Facility (ESF) and the N50 billion Export Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility (ERRF).
Welcoming Wali and his team, the state governor provided a snapshot of Bauchi State, especially its resources and other potential.
According to Governor Abubakar, Bauchi State covers a total land area of 49,259.01 square kilometres which represents about 5.3 per cent of Nigeria’s total land mass, making it one of the largest states in the country.
A statement further quoted him to have informed Wali that agriculture is the mainstay of over 80 per cent of people who reside in both urban and rural areas with products ranging from maize, rice, millet, groundnut and guinea corn. Additionally, cattle and other livestock are reared at a commercially viable level.
In terms of solid minerals, the governor indicated that the state has commercial mineral reserves comprising of Amethyst, Gypsum, Lead/Zinc, Uranium, Limestone, Kaolin, Gypsum, Antimony, Iron Ore, Gold, Marble, Columbite and zinc, precious stones like Sulphur, Amities and Aquamarine among others. In addition to this, Bauchi has a manufacturing sector covering Iron and Steel, Water, Ceramics, Food and Beverages etc.
The governor, however, identified certain constraints that have facilitated the commercial exploration of the solid minerals in the State. These include the issues of licensing – considering that solid minerals is on the exclusive list; the paucity of data in terms of certification of available deposits; and the need to efficiently organise artisanal mining as well as establish beneficiation centres to boost the solid mineral value-chain in the State.
On his part, Wali informed the governor about the recently launched N500 billion Export Stimulation Facility (ESF) and the N50 billion Export Rediscounting and Refinancing Facility (ERRF) which were provided as intervention funds by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of efforts of the federal government to address the persistent overdependence of the economy on revenue from crude oil export.