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Nigeria, UK to collaborate on lithium battery production, energy minerals exploration

Nigeria, UK to collaborate on lithium battery production, energy minerals exploration
December 01
15:40 2023

Dele Alake, minister of solid mineral development says the federal government has made new policies geared toward improving local production instead of just exporting raw materials.

According to a statement on Friday, Alake spoke during an investment discussion with Oliver Dowden, British deputy prime minister in London on Wednesday.

The minister said Nigeria has large deposits of minerals and is ready to partner with investors from the United Kingdom, adding that President Bola Tinubu is the chief marketer of Nigeria’s investment.

He also said Tinubu’s administration has introduced value addition as a priority policy in the sector.

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“Our new policy places emphasis on local value addition rather than export of raw minerals so that the value of our mineral products can increase,” Alake said. 

“If Nigeria is not doing well, Britain should be concerned. And if Nigeria is doing well, Britain can benefit from the opportunities.”

He said the Nigerian team would be willing to sit down with their British counterparts to take the discussion to the next level.

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Responding, Dowden said he chairs the British national economic security council, which is interested in partnering with Nigeria on energy minerals such as lithium.

He said the meeting was to kick off a discussion between both countries and that officials of the department of trade and investors would sit down to work out the details of the partnership.

The deputy prime minister also commended the government for the policy on value addition, adding that going up the value chain would create more economic opportunities for partnership between both countries. 

He highlighted the importance of the relationship between both countries, observing that if the relations were bad, Britain would not be bothered with the supplies.

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“You are right on value addition. If the processing then happens within a third-world country we are comfortable with, that would be good,” Dowden said.

Speaking also at the meeting, Jafar Hilali, founder and partner of Carousel Bio-Energy, said his firm plans to intervene at every stage of the lithium value chain leading to the establishment of a lithium battery production factory.

Hilali promised to assemble a consortium of British companies in power supply, infrastructure, and lithium battery production with a projection to produce battery to power energy buses for Nigeria’s domestic market.

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