The Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) yesterday in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the East China Institute of Geology and Exploration on solid mineral exploration in the country.
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa-Bwari, who now oversees the affairs of the ministry superintended over the signing ceremony which held at the headquarters of the ministry.
The minister, who expressed delight over the visit of the East China Institute delegation and welcomed them warmly said the signing of the agreement was very important, considering how germane exploration and data generation are to the mining sector.
He explained that “Because of the huge cost of exploration, Nigeria, though rich in mineral deposits, cannot do it alone, but have to call on other mining countries to assist Nigeria,” adding that several of such MoU have already been signed with governments of Morocco and South Africa and some firms in China.
Director- general of NGSA, Mr Alex Nwegbu, said that having identified the critical role of data generation and exploration in mining, the federal government, through the ministry decided to open the frontiers for willing and competent groups and individuals to participate in the exploration.
Fielding questions from journalists, Nwegbu said East China Institute was responsible for the cost and technical input required to prosecute the exploration exercise, adding that the advantage they have was that if eventually the exploration leads to discovery of more minerals, they were to be considered first in times of concessioning.
Speaking, the head of East China delegation, Paul Kaizer, who thanked the government of Nigeria for a warm welcome said, “We have seen the great and renewed focus that is being put in to diversify the Nigerian economy.
“It is in view of that commitment that seen on the part of government that we are here to build up a database for critical mineral deposits in Nigeria, so that the sector can attract investments.”
The DG, NGSA sign the MoU for Nigeria while the director of the East China Institute, Mr Wu Dai signed on behalf of the institute.
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