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Commonwealth to support Nigeria on deep sea mining

Commonwealth to support Nigeria on deep sea mining
December 04
13:28 2023

Nigeria is exploring the potential of deep sea mining in its coastal waters, according to a recent meeting between a national delegation and the Commonwealth secretariat.

The discussion was initiated by Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development, during a courtesy visit to the secretariat last week.

According to a statement released on Monday, Alake expressed the government’s interest in mobilising international assistance to develop the country’s solid minerals sector, including deep sea mining, in line with President Bola Tinubu’s drive to diversify the economy.

The minister said solid minerals would play an important role in achieving this goal.

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The statement added that Paul Kautoke, Commonwealth senior director, trade, oceans, and natural resources department, commended Nigeria’s interest in deep sea mining.

Kautoke noted that deep sea mining holds prospects for the extraction of valuable minerals such as copper, cobalt, nickel, gold, and rare earth elements, and pledged the Commonwealth’s willingness to support the country in developing a policy framework “for this emerging sector, that would enable Nigeria catch up with the progress made by fellow member countries in the Pacific region”.

Alake welcomed the Commonwealth’s support and indicated that the government would explore the potential of the new venture in collaboration with relevant ministries.

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He also said the ministry would develop a country proposal for further consideration.

On August 20, Tinubu appointed Adegboyega Oyetola to head the marine and blue economy, following a cabinet reshuffle.

Experts have predicted that the blue economy has the potential to boost Nigeria’s annual revenue if steps are taken to plug loopholes.

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