Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake says Nigeria is ready to play vital role in providing global demand for critical minerals.
Dr. Alake made this known during a special session at the ongoing 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Speaking on the topic: “From critical minerals to energy transition: Africa in the driver’s seat” at the event organised by the Corporate Council of Africa, Alake emphasized that the nation’s mineral resources made one of the top ten players in the energy sector.
“Nigeria has always occupied a special position in global energy discourse, Nigeria played a vital role as a key oil exporter during the era of hydrocarbon and became a top ten exporter of oil. As the face of global energy changes, Nigeria once again emerges as a key supplier of gas which we know is an important energy transition fuel today” Dr. Alake stated.
The minister who said Africa is fit for the driver’s seat of the global energy transition that will be driven by critical minerals explained that despite being behind other African countries in mining, Nigeria’s mineral deposit is valued at over $700bn with very huge potential to increase.
“Last year in the midst of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Nigeria was one of the top exporters of LNG to Europe and was the 6th largest LNG global exporter in 2022. As you can see, there is a clear trend, whenever Nigeria is active in the global energy space, it emerges top ten global player and it will be no different with critical minerals” he added
“Nigeria is endowed with a vast deposit of minerals critical to our new world. In our new world, mobility requires a new form of energy driven by minerals in our new electric vehicle world; technology is more mineral-dependent; our energy source will depend more on the energy converted from the sun and other sources; and energy storage is even more mineral reliant” the minister stressed.
This trend does not have any reversal in sight and demand will only continue particularly as the world seeks and envisions a lower carbon future where environment, social and governance (ESG) factors are prioritized in governance and investment decisions. Therefore, minerals are at the forefront”.
He also traced the transition from different sources of energy to the prominent renewable sources of energy.
“The shift from fossil-based energy systems to renewable energy such as wind and solar meant that minerals that were not a part of general and public parlance have become a part of everyday speech. Today, lithium for example is woven through everyday conversations and this only just the beginning”.
According to him, one of the key objectives of the President Bola Tinubu’s administration is to develop the entire value chain in-country adding that the nation was ready for foreign investment in the solid mineral sector, with President Bola Tinubu giving it a prominence.
He said the country was interested in joint ventures with foreign major mining companies to explore the critical minerals.
Many world leaders in the public sector, financial and mining sectors were present at the Roundtable.
Georgina Humphrey, Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze