The Federal Government has called for more investment from the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to invest in Bitumen extraction in order to meet local demand and increase the nation’s volume of export.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu made the call while formally declaring open the 10th International Conference Series of the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBBRI) in Abuja with the theme: “Circular Economy in the Built Environment for Enhanced Performance of the Nigerian Construction Industry”.
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According to him, Nigeria has estimated 42bn barrels of Bitumen reserves, and that a whopping 43 industrial chemicals including heavy crude petroleum can be obtained from bitumen.
“With reduction in foreign exchange earnings for the country, due to the drop in price of crude oil in the international market, there is need to find alternative sources of bitumen as well as encourage the use of concrete in road construction.
“I am happy that NBBRI has already carried out research and development efforts towards achieving fully paved roads using locally sourced bitumen. Though the trials are ongoing, the interim results are promising as bitumen samples collected locally are suitable for road construction based on comparison with international standards,” Onu said.
Speaking earlier the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Edet Sunday Akpan, said the theme of the conference was apt, especially at a time of growing global concerns on the issue of circular economy, resource utilization and smart cities development.
He urged participants at the conference to give in their all in regards to research and development outputs and results.
In her goodwill message, the Senate Committee Chairperson on Science and Technology, Senator Uche Ekwunife, said that the joint and concentrated efforts of critical stakeholders in the construction industry will further propel the nation’s GDP.