The new Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, has said the cost of solid mineral exploration is too prohibitive for government to bear alone.
Speaking during the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the East China Metallurgical Institute of Geology and Exploration and the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency, the Minister said the high cost of mining is the reason the country “has been having discussions with other mining countries to assist Nigeria in exploration.”
Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who resigned his position as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, officially handed over the Ministry to Bwari.
Bwari said the pact with the Chinese agency was the outcome of negotiations following his visit to the East China Institute during last year’s China Mining Conference in Tianjin.
“There is no mining without exploration and getting the requisite data for our solid mineral sector will continue to be our priority,” he said.
The head of delegation of the East China institute, Paul Ogbe Kaizer, said the organization has seen a new focus been put in diversifying Nigeria’s economy under the present government.
The Director General of the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Mr Alex Ndubuisi Nwegbu, said one of the agenda of the Federal Government is to diversify the economy and critical to the success of this diversification is the mining sector.
He noted that the generation of data is not the exclusive prerogative of government hence the reason for opening up the frontiers for others to participate in the effort.