Recently, the value of solid minerals imports rose by 74.39% from N23.56bn in the first quarter of 2021 to N41.09bn in the same quarter in 2022.; and contain in the Q1 2022 Foreign Trade Statistics report of the National Bureau of Statistics. However, according to the report, solid minerals elements is found on the earth; and they include naturally organic substances that are solid like precious stones and kaolin.
Solid mineral imports dominate by plasters of calcined gypsum or calcium sulphate imported from Turkey worth N6.87bn and China valued at N1.87bn. Other products imported under this category were salt for human consumption from Namibia (N5.87bn) and Tunisia (N1.14bn); and Gypsum anhydrite (N5.72bn) from Spain.
Thereafter, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, recently described Nigeria as blessed with 44 different minerals in commercial quantity; in over 500 locations in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. Some minerals include baryte, kaolin, gypsum, feldspar, limestone, coal, bitumen, lignite, uranium, gold; cassiterite, columbite, iron ore, lead-zinc, copper, granite, laterite, sapphire, tourmaline, emerald, topaz, amethyst, and garnet.
However, the minister also said that Nigeria and other African countries were suffering from the under-utilization of mineral resources despite huge deposits.
Thereafter, Adegbite, represented by the Director-General, Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, Obadiah Nkom; spoke at the first International Conference and Exhibitions of the Nigerian Society of Economic Geologists in Abuja. Also, The President of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society, Alabo Charles; said the Federal Government had identified mining and agriculture as viable options. Further, It is in its effort to diversify the nation’s economy from dependence on oil and gas.