By Gabriel Ewepu
FOLLOWING the protracted Russia-Ukraine War, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite, disclosed that Europe is now attracted and interested in the proven reserve of 2.75 billion metric tonnes of Nigeria’s coal deposit.
Adegbite made the disclosure while delivering a lecture during the 2022 Annual reunion of the old boys association of Government College Ibadan, at Gbongan Osun State, titled ‘The Mining Sector’s Pivotal Role in the Diversification of the Nigerian Economy’ as contained in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Ayodeji Adeyemi.
Also the Minister said, Prime Minister of Poland made enquiry about Nigeria’s coal on the heels of the rising energy challenge in Europe caused by the Russian-Ukraine War.
According to him, some Europeans had invited h to speak on Nigerian coal.
He said: “Nigeria has an abundance of proven and probable reserves of coal.
“The proven reserve of coal is 639 million metric tones while the probable reserve is put at 2.75 billion metric tonnes.
“Our coal is one of the best in the world and easily convertible to energy.
“In fact when I came into office coal was been looked at has been dirty.
“However due to the energy situation in Europe and because winter is coming Nigeria’s coal is attracting a lot of attention from major foreign investors.”
He also boasted that, “Several administration had spoken in the past about diversification but had mostly paid lip service to the agenda but this present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari, has put its money where its mouth is by striving to diversify the economy essentially through two sectors mining and agriculture.
“This administration was the first to approve extrabugetary funds for the sector.
“Indeed, mining has the ability to unite us as a nation as there is no state in Nigeria that does not have a mineral resource.”
Meanwhile, he highlighted some major actions ongoing in the sector as it concerns development of bitumen reserve size of 42.74 billion metric tonnes, which had remained unexploited for years.
He said that the country was now poised to begin the production of bitumen locally as it had appointed a transaction advisor to oversee the process, and it marks end to importation of the commodity.