Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The federal government has said that eight firms out of the 45 that bid for the Integrated Exploration Project scaled through, as the project was flagged off Thursday.
Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bawa Bwari, noted that the project, which is under the Natural Resources Fund, will be executed by the Ministry.
Bwari, while flagging off the project, said: “We realised Nigeria is blessed with diverse mineral resources which can only serve their purpose if they are properly and comprehensively characterised to enable stakeholders make investment decisions.”
The minister stressed that following the policies laid down in the ministry’s roadmap to help actualise the federal government’s diversification agenda, the ministry, “intend to advance the development and use of different mineral commodities in the following ways:
“Industrial minerals for local consumption and import substitution; metallic minerals for generating foreign exchange; and energy minerals for power generation towards the nation’s growth and substantial development”.
According to him, “This integrated project is therefore long overdue, and its success will be critical in determining how far government can go in its efforts to reposition the sector.
“Actually, the credibility of this ministry, as well as the seriousness with which the international community will evaluate our effort at becoming a viable mining jurisdiction will be dependent on the way we handle this critical project.
“At this juncture, we want to particularly thank all who worked hard to make this event possible. We expect maximum commitment in the execution of this project because a lot is at stake.”
“I therefore, expect regular updates on work progress, particularly from the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency which be supervising this project on behalf of the Ministry:
“I urge you to strictly adhere to the job specifications and specifications and contractual agreements stipulated in the terms of engagement while also ensuring that local expertise is adequately employed,” urged Bwari.