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Nigerian Govt hold talks with US on funding mining projects in the country

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By Victoria Onehi

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake and United States Assistant Secretary for Energy and Natural Resources Geoffrey Pratt have agreed to set up a team of officials of both countries to explore financing for credit to mining firms and infrastructures.

Pratt said his visit to Alake followed an earlier meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who sought the support of the US for the country’s economic revival.

He said the US would like to be Nigeria’s partner of choice in developing the solid minerals sector and was interested in the reforms announced by the Minister in his address at the plenary of the conference.

Noting that the United States has various institutions and laws which encourage direct foreign investment, Pratt said he would notify the agencies to collaborate with their Nigerian counterparts to work out the framework.

Responding, Dr. Alake said the gesture was music to his ears as the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has launched a seven point agenda as its roadmap to reposition the sector.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser Kehinde Bamigbetan, the Minister highlighted the establishment of the new Solid Minerals Development Company, a new security architecture to ensure safety of mine operations and data generation on a massive scale to de-risk the sector.

He said the credit facility and foreign direct investment promised by the United States would be in the mutual interest of both countries because energy minerals such as lithium are critical to the global crusade for clean energy and necessary for the  manufacture of electric cars. 

Also speaking at the meeting, the Executive Secretary of the  Nigerian Solid Minerals Fund, Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi commended the US for investment in mining infrastructures in the central Africa urging a similar partnership with the Fund.

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