×

We’ve Opened Nasarawa For Mining Investors, Says Governor Sule

Governor Sule stated this at the commissioning of the 4,000 metric tonnes per day lithium processing factory built by a Chinese firm, Avatar New Energy Materials Company Limited, in Nasarawa Local Government Area, on Friday.


FILE: Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule

 

Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State says that the influx of private investors rushing to do business in Nasarawa was because his administration has done everything possible to open the state for investment.

Governor Sule stated this at the commissioning of the 4,000 metric tonnes per day lithium processing factory built by a Chinese firm, Avatar New Energy Materials Company Limited, in Nasarawa Local Government Area, on Friday.

“Investors are showing this great amount of interest because we have opened the state. We could not have opened the state without the support of Mr. President, and the local community in Nasarawa LGA, especially the Udege Development Area.

“We want to show great appreciation to you for what you have done. We want to show great appreciation to our security agencies because this area used to be a no-go area,” he said.

He appreciated President Bola Tinubu as well as the local community in Nasarawa Local Government Area, especially the people of Udege Development Area, for their cooperation and support towards actualizing the project.

The governor expressed confidence that with the influx of global players in the lithium business showing interest in doing business in Nasarawa State, the state government can beat its chest by saying it has done everything possible to open up the state to investors.

Governor Sule disclosed that among other several investors attending the commissioning ceremony, the  Chairman of Canmax Technologies,  Zhenhua Pei, a renowned Chinese firm responsible for over 30% of global battery material production, has indicated interest in investing $200 million for another lithium processing plant in the state.

READ ALSO: Tinubu To Lithium Investors: My Govt Set To Make Nigeria Solar Panel, EV Battery Manufacturing Hub

Other investors at the event include the Chairman of Diamond Energy, as well as that of Kenyang Mining Company Limited.

A visibly excited Governor Sule used the opportunity of the event to restate his call for Nigerians, especially citizens of Nasarawa State to pick up the challenge by investing in the mining sector of the state.

Tinubu, who was the special guest of honour at the event, said the commissioning of the factory is an example of the good partnership between the Federal Government, Nasarawa State, and investors, in line with the diversification policy of his administration, leveraging on the mining sector as sources of revenue for socioeconomic benefits.

Represented at the event by Senate President Godswill Akpabio, the President noted that, for the first time in the history of the country’s technology, Nigeria is becoming a partner and partaker in the production value chain of lithium.

President Tinubu said the commissioning of the lithium processing plant in Nasarawa State provides a chance for the youths to create new careers in the processing of solid minerals and the application of new technology.

While appreciating the management of Avatar New Energy Materials Co. Ltd for setting up their factory in Nigeria, he urged them to make community relations and corporate social responsibility fundamental pillars of their policy.

President Tinubu equally called on the host community not to be in too much hurry as their children and grandchildren stand to benefit from the project.

In his speech at the occasion, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, said the solid minerals sector remains the focal point of the diversification policy of the President Tinubu administration anchored on the renewed hope agenda.

Restating his early commitment towards value addition, the Minister said his ministry would no longer issue license to prospecting miners who fail to show concrete plans for local value addition.

“We are no longer going to license prospective miners without showing us a concrete plan of local value addition. It could be processing, refining or configuration of finished products but we are no longer going to license anybody who does not present to us a concrete critical fact towards value addition.

“Those who possess licenses now must start planning forward integration. We are going to give them a timeline or a period within which they must begin value addition otherwise they would jeopardize their licenses,” Alake said.

He added that as part of efforts to reposition the mining sector, the Tinubu administration has shortlisted 20 indigenous mining companies that would benefit from the solid minerals development fund.

The Minister commended Governor Sule for taking deliberate steps to cooperate, collaborate, and synergize with the Federal Government in this critical solid mineral sector.

The Chairman of Avatar New Energy Materials Company Limited, Hi Yongwei, said his company’s total investment in Nigeria would exceed one billion USD with an estimated annual output worth over five hundred million USD and about thirty-five million USD in profits and taxes.

According to Yongwei, with the planned expansion of the facility aimed at achieving an annual production capacity of 300, 000 tons of lithium concentrate within the next two years, the factory would generate over 4, 000 local employment opportunities.

Also speaking, Senator Ahmed Wadada (Nasarawa West, SDP), said that the commissioning of the lithium processing plant in Nasarawa State, Nigeria is witnessing a paradigm in the solid minerals sector.

“The commissioning of the facility exemplifies what diversification of the economy stands for. This is what we desire for the real growth and development of our economy. We should also extend similar gestures to the agricultural sector towards value chain addition. This will effectively address employment and improve foreign exchange,” he said.

Senator Wadada commended the Nasarawa State Government for providing the enabling environment for the private sector to take charge as the main driver of the economy of the state.

In his remarks, the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Yakubu Kwanta, said the event and its realization were only made possible through the painstaking efforts of Governor Sule who has maintained a steady check on the progress on work throughout.