The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has advocated for the formulation of a national policy to halt the export of Nigeria’s solid minerals overseas. Instead, they propose focusing on domesticating the processing of raw materials and encouraging local manufacturing of end-products from these minerals and raw materials.

The call was made by the executive vice chairman/chief executive officer of NASENI, Dr. Bashir Gwandu, during a meeting with the director general of Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Dr. Abdulrazaq A. Garba, in Abuja on July 31, 2023.

Both agencies agreed to explore collaborations to develop value addition and processing of abundant mineral resources in the country. The goal is to convert these resources into products that create job opportunities, add value to the economy, and put an end to capital flight by attracting potential investors to establish manufacturing plants in Nigeria.

Dr. Gwandu highlighted the need to shift from exporting raw materials to encouraging foreign companies to set up factories in Nigeria for local production. He cited the example of Lithium, a mineral found in large quantities across the country, which is currently being exported by illegal miners without maximizing its potential for battery production, particularly for electric cars. NASENI has invited foreign companies, including Chinese investors, to discuss local manufacturing of Lithium batteries.

Dr. Gwandu emphasized that Nigeria possesses abundant raw materials and should focus on developing domestic capacities for production instead of relying on imports. The agency seeks to collaborate with NGSA to work on the compositions of raw materials and ensure their local processing into end products that add value to the economy.

In response, Dr. Garba expressed enthusiasm for collaborating with NASENI and acknowledged the importance of harmonizing and domesticating the processing of raw materials across the country. He stressed that such collaboration would not only enhance the nation’s economy but also create jobs and wealth.

The event concluded with the formal handing over of the country’s Geological map by the director general of NGSA to NASENI. This map showcases numerous mineral deposits, rocks, and various raw materials available in Nigeria. Both agencies agreed to take the proposal for a national policy to ban mineral exportation to the highest levels of the government.