From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, has described Nasarawa State as a worthy partner in the drive to develop mineral resources in Nasarawa and Nigeria at large.

Speaking while receiving Nasarawa Governor Abdullahi Sule on Thursday in his office, Alake stated that the Governor has provided immense support for the Lithium factory undergoing construction in Nasarawa state, emphasising that the state has led the way in fostering partnership with the Federal Government for solid minerals development.

“The Nasarawa State Governor has been very supportive of the solid minerals sector, not because his state is a solid minerals state, but because he’s an engineer, he is a technical person. He understands the dynamics of the sector, and I commend his efforts,” Alake emphasised.

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The governor, in his remarks, lauded the minister for leading the charge for the resurgence of the mining sector and facilitating the state’s acquisition of gold, tin, and lithium mining licenses. He noted that his visit was to brief his host on the on-going construction of the gigantic lithium factory and also compare notes on what the ministry is doing to secure mining sites and develop the mining sector in the country.

“I want to show great appreciation to the Honourable Minister because recently, Nasarawa State obtained three licenses. One is an area where there is a possibility of gold deposit, another area where there is lithium deposit, and the third site where there is a tin deposit. I come from the private sector, and I understand how the public sector doesn’t become so efficient in the management of this venture, so we have Public Private Partnerships (PPP) arrangements. Which implies we are going to have partners and we have some level of equity participation that will ensure the state gets maximum benefits”, Gov Sule added.

In addition, Dr Alake revealed that discussions also touched on the unfortunate Ibadan explosion incident stressing that while investigation is still ongoing, the ministry is very circumspect in laying a cause at a very specific doorstep.

“We can not be categorical about a cause now. We have quite a number of reports flying all over the place. We cannot rely on speculation, so we have to wait for an efficient forensic analysis of the unfortunate incident, but that also underscores the security around our country, generally, which Mr. President has been very fastidious about. There was a committee that was set up at the Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday, to coordinate security around our natural resources, including minerals, forests, and the marine economy. The committee will start meeting from tomorrow, and we will be giving updates,” the minister asserted.