OrderPaperToday – Nigeria’s Senate at its plenary on Wednesday considered a bill seeking to establish Bitumen Training Institute, Ode Aye, Ondo State

The bill which scaled second reading is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, representing Ondo South senatorial district.

Recall that the senate recently approved a bill for the establishment of a solid minerals development agency for the country.

In his lead debate on the Establishment of Bitumen Training Institute, (Establishment Bill 2021 (SB 663), Sen. Tofowomo said the bill will help transform the bitumen potentials as well as fortunes in Nigeria.

According to him, “bitumen deposit in Ondo south covers Odigbo, Okitipupa and Irele Local government which is about half of the Senatorial district. It is on record that the Bitumen in Ondo south is the second largest deposit in the whole world. Venezuela has the largest deposit and it is currently the largest in the whole world.

“Bitumen importation has been significant in Nigeria since military administration of General Gowon and it has taken significant effect on our foreign exchange. Bitumen is used for many things in Nigeria; these include road construction and Housing.

“Bitumen is one of the richly deposited minerals resources in Nigeria and some Africa countries just like Crude oil, it is found in Ondo, Lagos, Ogun and Edo States. Bitumen was discovered at first in 1900 and exploration begins in 1905; Ondo state has large deposit in Sand/Bitumen and the state government has tried its exploration in the past without any achievement.

“The Bitumen in Nigeria is the largest in Africa, Bitumen is found in massive quantities mainly in south-western part of Nigeria especially in the Tar sand ofIlubirin, Loda and Agbabu in Ondo State. Bitumen deposit extends around 120kms approximately. In Ondo South, the estimate of amount of Bitumen available for extraction is about 16billon barrels.

“Nigeria has an approximated estimate Bitumen reserve of 42.74 billion metric tonnes. Bitumen is easily found naturally in the Tar sand where it can be processed and refined into oil rich Bitumen. It can be found as refined products where it occurs via crude oil fractional distribution.

“Establishment of Bitumen Institute would harmonise all the past strides and research made on Bitumen exploration since 1905 and come up with a Solid foundation for Economic exploration of Bitumen in Nigeria.

“The enactment of this Bill will help transforming the Bitumen potentials as well as fortunes in Nigeria in producing the desired manpower and expertise to drive the Bitumen Industry just like the Petroleum Training Institute is doing with the petroleum Industry.”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals for further legislative work.

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