Minister of State, Mines and Steel, Abubakar Bwari, has said Nigeria still imports an estimated $3.3 billion worth of steel and associated derivatives annually.
Bwari said at the 16th Edition of Mines and Money, in London, that Nigeria needed about 17 million tonnes of steel, but local production of the products was a mere 2.2 million per annum.
According to him, the iron and steel sector offers opportunities for foreign investors to invest, especially since no industrialisation can take place without the product.
“In the past five years, Nigeria has held a frontline position amongst the exporters of tin concentrates globally, and in the process of establishing a platform for trading tin concentrates.”
He disclosed that government has awarded N15billion worth contract to five firms for the exploration of priority minerals like gold, lead, zinc, iron ore, and rare earth metals.
“This is part of integral exploration programme. Delineated areas arising from these activities will be blocked and concessioned to interested mining investors,” he added.
Bwari maintained that by constantly upgrading and expanding country’s database to de-risk mining jurisdiction, it will make the potential more viable to investors.
“We recently launched a roadmap for development of industrial minerals, aimed at making the country self-sufficient in construction firm, and free up opportunities for quicklime for water treatment.”