President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared the end of an era when Nigeria exported raw gold, lithium, and other minerals, emphasizing the country’s shift toward value addition to mineral resources before exportation. This announcement was made during his address in Abuja on the second day of the eighth edition of the Nigerian Mining Week, organized by the Miners Association of Nigeria.
The President, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. George Akume, highlighted the importance of this policy in curbing significant losses incurred through the export of unprocessed mineral commodities.
He stated that his administration had taken decisive steps to restructure the former Ministry of Mines and Steel Development into the Ministry of Solid Minerals and Steel Development.
Solid Mineral Development Minister, Mr. Dele Alake, echoed the sentiment that the days of exporting raw materials were numbered, underscoring the government’s commitment to bolstering the nation’s mineral industry. The policy of adding value to mineral resources before exportation is not only seen as a strategic move to prevent further losses but also as an opportunity to engage the nation’s youth in meaningful economic endeavors, thereby nurturing their skills and expertise.
The President’s speech conveyed a strong determination to utilize Nigeria’s vast potential to foster industrialization and take a leading role in critical mineral value chains within Africa and the global market. The recent global shifts toward energy transition initiatives have opened up new prospects for Nigeria’s mineral sector, with significant discoveries, particularly in the form of high-grade lithium resources, found across multiple states in the country.
As local companies have already adapted their business strategies to align with the new policy, President Tinubu urged others to follow suit. The government’s vision is to ensure that Nigeria benefits from its abundant mineral resources by adding value before exportation, which will not only boost the national economy but also empower the nation’s youth, fostering economic growth and skill development.