…as FG launches made in Nigeria Barite
In her commitment to the growth of the mineral sector and as part of its pragmatic policy to actualize the Zero-Oil Plan, the Federal Government has launched the made in Nigeria Barite
The launch which was held in Port Harcourt had in attendance stakeholders in the minerals and metal sector.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite in his keynote address said the launch of the Nigerian Barite was a culmination of several efforts and collaboration with critical stakeholders in the sector.
While appreciating President Muhammadu Buhari for the unwavering support he has given to the mining sector, Adegbite noted that the current administration has demonstrated an unflinching commitment to the growth of the sector.
The Minister highlighted some of the benefits of the Nigerian Barite initiative to include; accelerated development of the sector along the Barite value chain; Increased revenue to Government through Royalty payment and Conservation of foreign exchange hitherto spent on importing barite.
Others he mentioned were; Job creation along the Barite value chain and Local Content promotion in line with federal government policy.
Adegbite added that the launch of Nigerian Barite was poised to save the country millions of dollars spent importing barite.
He said a major component of the initiative was the promotion of local content in the production, quality assurance, and sale of Barite.
“The bags of barite we are presenting today meet the American Petroleum Institute
(API) standard, which is the global bench mark accepted by the oil industry”, he explained.
The Minister recalled that barite was among the seven strategic minerals designated for top priority development by the Nigerian government.
He said Barite occurs within the Benue Trough (Benue, Taraba, Adamawa States) and its fringes to the north (Nassarawa, Platueau and Gombe States) and the Southern fringe (Cross River State).
He however cited a major exception of occurrence in Zamfara State, Northwestern Nigeria.
He disclosed that an open market place Portal that would connect all stakeholders along the Barite value chain would soon be commissioned.
In his words, “ the open market place portal would connect all stakeholders along the Barite value chain to a hub that allows for easy coordination, stocking, effective costing and seamless sale of Barite while the Ministry would assume the role of coordinating the entire process.”
Adegbite further explained that the open market place solution would be integrated with the Treasury Single Account, TSA, to ensure prompt remittances of government revenue
In his speech, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, congratulated the Ministers for the feat achieved while thanking them for choosing the State for the launch.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Minister of State, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah said Barite is one among the over 44 solid mineral types found within the country, which have mostly remained unexploited.
He said the launch of Nigerian Barite is an attestation that the Ministry’s investment in exploration activities and capacity building targeted at sustainable production of Nigerian processed Barite has finally paid off.
“In our commitment to deliver on Mr. President’s mandate, we have not only rejigged our Vision and Mission but have developed and adopted new reform initiatives and innovative strategies to ensure optimal performance and sustainable growth in the minerals and metal sector”, he further explained.
In her closing remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr (Mrs) Oluwatoyin Akinlade said the Ministry aligned with the strategic and visionary diversification agenda of the President through the roadmap to completely rejuvenate the sector for national prosperity.
She acknowledged the unwavering parliamentary support of the National Assembly.
There were goodwill messages from CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the Group Managing Director NNPC Mele Kyari, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote and a presentation by the Director General Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, Dr Garba Abdulrazaq.
Barite is a mineral that is very vital to the development of the Nigerian oil and gas sector. It plays essential role as a weighing material in drilling muds used in oil and gas drilling primarily to prevent the explosive release of gas during drilling. It is also used in the plastic, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, paper making and paint industry.