Nigeria, blessed with an abundance of mineral resources, continues to import most of the mineral resources because the ones obtained in the country were not processed. The only solution obtainable, according to a report commissioned by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the World Bank, is to invest $123.5M over the next five years.
The report stated, “The most relevant minerals (both in volume and value) exploited in Nigeria are minerals used by the construction industry, namely limestone, laterite, sand, clay, shale, dolomite and dimension stones (marble and granite blocks). A second relevant group includes minerals used by industrial chains (calcium, carbonates and lime for water treatment; manganese and dolomite for steel and iron cast; kaolin and feldspar for the ceramics industry; barite and bentonite for the drilling/oil and gas industry; and mica for the electrical and painting industries).
“Nigeria is highly dependent on imports of some industrial minerals. In 2016, Nigeria imported more than 51,000 tonnes of calcium carbonate and lime, alongside substantial imports of mica and dimension stones. The value of the imports of these minerals exceeded $28m, i.e. 60 per cent of the total value of imports of industrial minerals. Alongside the construction and water treatment sectors, the industrial minerals imported are used in steel, oil and gas, and in wide range of other industries.
“Nigeria has a mineral endowment appropriated to meet the domestic demand (in volume and quality) of industrial minerals, and this road map aims to reduce Nigeria’s import dependence of industrial minerals.”
A couple of methods suggested by the report to realize the local production of the industrial minerals needed include the promotion of the provision of construction minerals and the promotion of the provision of industrial minerals.