By Victoria Onehi
The establishment of the newly built Kaolin Ore Processing Plant signifies a move away from raw materials export to export of processed materials, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development Arc.Olamilekan Adegbite has said.
The Minister stated this while commissioning the Kaolin Ore Processing Plant at Alkaleri in Gwaram Local Government of Bauchi State on Tuesday.
In a statement by the Ministry, Adegbite called for critical stakeholders involvement in proper utilisation of the versed mineral potentials in Nigeria in order to generate massive direct and indirect employment opportunities for wealth creation and improved National GDP.
While acknowledging the diversification efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration to change the narrative of the nation’s economy, he emphasized that the newly built Kaolin Ore Processing Plant signifies a move away from raw materials export to export of processed materials, which is where the profits lie in value addition.
On her part, the Permanent Secretary, MMSD, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade expressed delight at the commissioning of the Industrial plant, which has enormous economic valuability and industrial utilisation. She gave an assurance that the Ministry will continue to work for the development of the Sector to ensure national growth.
She further noted that the project and five others, respectively, established in each Geopolitical Zone of the country were anchored on Government’s determination to remedy the impact of the recent global pandemic on the economy generally and in the Minerals and Metals Sector in particular.
In his goodwill message at the occasion, the Acting President of Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Alhaji Musa Muhammed, who was represented by the National Treasurer, Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), Mr Bello Galoji commended the cluster development project and the efforts of the Ministry under the Current leadership in developing the downstream value chain of the Solid Mineral Sector to fast track the economic agenda of the present Administration.
He opined that Kaolin industrial cluster could be sustained in the State as there are over 20 documented Kaolin Mining Sites in Alkaleri and Kirfi local governments with over 8 companies having titles to operate. The State, he said has over 20 Small and Medium Kaolin milling plant registered under Bauchi Kaolin Millers Cooperative Society, who are ever ready to collaborate with this monumental project.
The MAN’s helmsman, however, solicited for more intervention in the areas of equipment leasing facilities to improve the operations of the Artisanal Small Scale Miners, so as to increase the volume of trade in established clusters.
In her contribution, the National President, Women in Mining in Nigeria, Hon. Engr Janet Adeyemi, who was represented by Mrs Piwuna confidently noted that the establishment of the industrial Plant in Alkaleri portends well for the economy of Bauchi State and the entire nation.
She expressed the desire for the North East Geo-political Zone to exploit the advantages of proximity of market supply for industries whose raw materials include kaolin, adding that the initiative is not only timely but also critical in supporting the sector’s recovery and growth.
She said the commencement of the Plant is expected to also provide more job opportunities for the women in the State across board.