The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, has touted barite as one of the solid minerals with the capacity to move Nigeria’s economy from dependence on crude oil and grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
Adegbite, who disclosed this while briefing the press in the ministry’s headquarters today (October), during the pre-launch of the made-in-Nigeria barite scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Thursday, October 28, 2021, added that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development was gradually actualising its mandate of developing the downstream policy of the sector.
According to him, the launch of this brand of barite, refined to meet the American Petroleum Institute (API) specification, shows the ministry’s determination to ensure that the downstream policy of the sector is actualised. “No country ever develops by selling raw materials. Nigeria will generate more economic value by processing her raw materials”.
Continuing, the minister stated that the made-in-Nigeria barite, which has been locally mined, milled and bagged, would shore up the nation’s foreign reserves.
“Spending billions to import barite will stop,” he stated emphatically.
The minister disclosed that to ensure continuity, the ministry will commission an Open Market Place portal to link all stakeholders along the barite value chain and encourage miners who will get a chance to compete internationally.
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, noted that this feat will create great development opportunities for the miners and employment in the country.
Ogah reiterated the ministry’s resolve to ensure that the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to move the economy from oil to mining and agriculture is achieved.
A statement by the ministry’s head of press and public relations, signed by Tine-Iulun M.A, said the permanent secretary, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, in her remarks, commended both ministers for their leadership that has crystallized into a successful launch of the barite brand.