Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Lithium Tops Agenda As Alake, British Deputy PM Meet

FMMSD London
L-R: The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake and the British Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Oliver Dowden.

Lithium and its many gains centered on its value chain topped the list of discussions between Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake and the British Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Oliver Dowden.

In a discussion, during a meeting in London, which centered on a comprehensive investment package that encompasses the lithium value chain, Dowden, who chairs the British National Economic Security Council, expressed the council’s interest in partnering with Nigeria on energy minerals, particularly lithium.

Dowden announced that the purpose of the meeting was to initiate discussions between both countries. He highlighted the significance of the partnership, indicating that officials from the Department of Trade and investors would convene to work out the details. Additionally, he conveyed his pleasure in welcoming President Bola Tinubu to the African Summit scheduled for next year.

In response, Minister Oladele Alake emphasized Nigeria’s abundant mineral deposits and the country’s readiness to collaborate with investors from the United Kingdom. He conveyed President Tinubu’s consideration of the invitation positively, noting that the administration has prioritized value addition in the minerals sector.

“Our new policy places emphasis on local value addition rather than the export of raw minerals so that the value of our mineral products can increase,” stated Alake.

Alake emphasised the historical ties between Nigeria and Britain, asserting that the well-being of Nigeria should be a concern for Britain. He expressed the Nigerian team’s willingness to engage with their British counterparts to elevate the discussions.

Dowden commended the Nigerian government for its value-addition policy, emphasising that progressing up the value chain would create more economic opportunities for partnership between both nations. Dowden recognised the importance of the relationship and suggested that Britain’s engagement reflects the positive state of relations.

Founder and partner of Carousel Bio-Energy, Jafar Hilali presented the firm’s plans to intervene at every stage of the lithium value chain, leading to the establishment of a lithium battery production factory. Hilali assured the assembly of a consortium of British companies specialising in power supply, infrastructure, and lithium battery production. The projected outcome is the production of lithium battery-powered energy buses for Nigeria’s domestic market.

The discussions highlighted the potential for a strategic partnership focused on lithium, an essential mineral in the rapidly growing energy sector, showcasing the commitment of both nations to explore innovative and sustainable solutions for future collaboration.

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