12 January 2016, Abuja — The Nigerian Government’s plan to diversify its mineral resources and it’s revenue base, received a boost with plans by the United States Geological Survey, USGS, to assist the country in its bid to generate concrete and reliable geosciences data of solid mineral deposits across the country.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, disclosed this during his visit to the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
Entwistle noted that the US Geological Survey would set the process in motion with the NGSA from next week beginning with strategic engagements aimed at working out suitable technical partnership.
The US envoy said it was imperative for both countries’ geological survey agencies to collaborate in a way of fast-tracking the development and harnessing the sector’s potential and to actualise the dream of diversification and huge revenue generation.
He said, “The US Geological Survey next week will partner with the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency to begin to see what kind of technical cooperation that might be possible, particularly in the areas of figuring out exactly what Nigeria has on ground, what quality and we want to see what is possible in that regard.”
In his remarks, Dr. Fayemi described the US Government’s readiness to partner with Nigeria as a welcomed development and a good omen for the sector and economy.
He told the US envoy that similar partnerships by Nigeria with institutions like the World Bank and other governments with vast experience in mining will help achieve President Muhammadu Buhari’s aspiration to diversify the economy through the Solid Minerals sector.
The minister further expressed optimism and maintained that the planned technical cooperation in geological data generation will add value to the sector, as some of the issues confronting it like the quality of data available to determine the size of what Nigeria has, and how to use bankable data by potential investors.