As Nigeria hosts maiden ‘Nigeria-Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit’

Nigeria still spends $3.3 billion on steel imports annually — Gupta

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

As Nigeria hosts maiden ‘Nigeria-Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit’, President Muhammadu Buhari, Wednesday, said Africa needs to join world’s shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources.
Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite, stated this in his keynote address delivered at the Three-Day Summit with theme ‘Towards a Greener Africa’, ongoing in Abuja, where he pointed that Africa requires a huge amount of energy generation to drive its development.

The summit aims at discovering solutions, exhibit technologies that will lead to the growth and industrialization of Africa and more climate friendly manner while encourages development and financing of green energy projects, and it ends on June 3, 2022.

He said: “Today’s convention is indeed important. Africa requires a huge amount of energy generation to drive its development, even as the world shifts away from fossil fuel to clean and renewable energy sources, in the fight against climate change. In the midst of this energy transition lies many challenges and opportunities for a continent yearning for development.

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“I believe this should spur us as a continent of diverse people to co-operate and collaborate more, initiate innovative solutions to the challenges that are peculiar to us, come up with technologies and products that will lead to the growth and industrialization of Africa in a more environment friendly manner while encouraging the development and financing of green energy projects.

“Our meeting today provides the opportunity to share views on natural resources and energy market developments. Additionally, the morning session will focus on Maximizing Mineral Potentials and Attracting Private Investments. Our esteemed speakers will discuss the opportunities within the Nigerian Mining Sector, the underexplored minerals which are key to clean renewable energy, the success stories and the strides towards driving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the Sector.

“As I welcome you all, I would like to state a Declaration of Cooperation that: “Participating countries in the Declaration of Cooperation would strengthen their cooperation, through joint assessment and viewpoints, with the aim to financing sustainable African Natural Resources and Energy Projects that are key to the transition, for the benefit of producers and consumers and to regularly review at technical and ministerial levels the status of our cooperation.”

He further stated that, “Our joint meetings and activities will support us in formulating favorable policy and strategy development for the natural resource sector as the world looks towards a greener future. A policy that is less subject to extremes, both today and in the future.”

The President added that, “We must strive to remain committed to our joint statements in the Declaration of Cooperation and ensure continuity. This is beyond attaining short-term demand-supply balancing, while it calls for strengthening our cooperation through a dynamic and transparent framework for sustainable development in the medium to long term.

Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director, African Industries Group, Alok Gupta, who was represented by Partha Ghosh spoke on opportunities on Nigeria’s mining sector. African Natural Resources and Mines Limited (ANRML), is a group company of the African Industries Group.

Gupta said: “Nigeria is heavily endowed with solid minerals with 44 minerals found in over 500 locations including all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have more than one mineral type which indeed is a rare occurrence.

“With the view of maximizing these opportunities, to create wealth, grow the GDP and expand opportunities available to Nigerians. The mining sector is the backbone of industrialization of the economy.

“He also pointed various incentives rolled out n the Buhari-led administration to promote ease of doing business in the sector.

However, he said, “The mining implementation and stability is strategically focusing on steel. Nigeria has the 12th largest steel deposits in the world with more than 3 billion tonnes resources in Kogi, Enugu, Zamfara and Kaduna States.

“Annually $3.3 billion is still spent on steel imports which impact the economy. With focusing on steel Nigeria can reduce dependency on imports and the economy would become a major player in global markets.

He also disclosed that his company has established a fully integrated mining and steel processing plant in Kudini Village in Kadarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State, with 5 million tonnes per annum, which is Nigeria’s largest foreign direct investment of $600 million, and has employed over 4000 Nigerians, including good community development projects and schemes ongoing.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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