Alake: We need N250bn to explore solid minerals

Beloved JohnDecember 13, 20232 min

The minister says N29 billion allocated to solid minerals development in the 2024 budget is a drop in the ocean if Nigeria must diversify the economy away from hydrocarbons 

Mr. Dele Alake, minister for solid minerals development
Mr. Dele Alake, minister for solid minerals development

The Ministry of Solid Mineral Development has solicited for an increased budgetary allocation to ensure adequate funding for the exploration of solid minerals in the country.

According to the Minster, Mr. Dele Alake, an increased allocation is the only way to ensure the ministry generates more revenue and effectively implements the ministry’s objectives for 2024.

He said this at the 2024 budget defence with the House of Representatives Committee on Solid Minerals Development on Tuesday, December 12, 2023.

Alake said the ministry needs at least N250 billion to commence exploration, as opposed to the N29 billion approved budget for 2024.

“We need a lot of funding in exploration. We cannot leave exploration in the hands of the private sector. We need to generate geo-scientific data. We are asking for 250 billion naira for exploration,” he said.

The 2024 budgetary allocation for the ministry is currently pegged at N29.2 bn. From this, Personnel cost is pegged at N2.6bn, overhead cost at N 1.6bn, and capital cost at N24.9bn.

However, Alake said, if  the country must diversify its economy, it must be ready to allocate adequate funding to the process and assured that an increased allocation would translate to higher revenue in the federal government coffers.

“If you assist our request, you will expect higher revenue and contribution to the GDP. If We are serious about economic diversification, we need no less than N250 billion for exploration alone. Currently, there’s a global clamour for energy transition. That is fossil fuel, hydrocarbon, and the rest is going out and if we are not careful, we will find ourselves with an economic downstream. This is why it is important for diversification of the economy. 

“And the only other viable alternative is Solid minerals. We need good resources to activate this dormant sector. We need to ensure solid minerals make their own contribution to the GDP. We have about 44 minerals that are in global demand, but we have decided to prioritise 7 of them,” he said.

Beloved John

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