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Minister: Nigeria has finalised plans to start local production of bitumen

Minister: Nigeria has finalised plans to start local production of bitumen
April 26
08:41 2022

Olamilekan Adegbite, minister of mines and steel development, says plans have been concluded to concession Nigeria’s bitumen reserve of 42.74 billion metric tonnes for local production.

According to Adegbite, the development will stop the over-reliance on imported bitumen for domestic road construction.

The minister said this at a media briefing on the concession of delineated bitumen blocks on Monday in Abuja.

Adegbite said out of the 200,000km of roads, about 140,000km have a network deficit, implying that about 70 per cent of roads are unpaved.

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“Nigeria currently has 200,000 km of road networks with only 60,000 km worth of road paved. This considerable road infrastructure deficit presents an inherent demand for bitumen,” Adegbite said.

The minister disclosed that the federal government has concluded plans to concession its bitumen reserve of 42.74 billion metric tonnes to stop the over-reliance on imported bitumen for domestic road construction.

He said the concession of the bitumen became imperative as Nigeria ranks sixth in the world in terms of reserve size but still depends on importation.

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“Hence, the development of bitumen will lead to import substitution, local content development, and increased value addition of the mining industry to the domestic economy, thereby creating jobs and generating revenue for the government,” the minister explained.

He also pointed out that Nigeria’s population is growing, which will lead to an increase in the demand for road infrastructure as well as put additional strain on the current road network.

Adegbite said that to ensure that the bitumen is fully harnessed for industrial and infrastructural development, the ministry constituted a 9-member ministerial bitumen development committee on January 31, 2021, to conduct inventory.

“An important part of the committee’s recommendations was to finalise the process of engaging a “Transaction Advisor” to ensure the concession process is open, transparent and in accordance with global best practices,” he said.

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He said his ministry had appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as its transaction advisor and programme manager to oversee the process for the concession of the bitumen block to potential investors.

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