This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Musa Sada, during the visit of the management of Ojim Royal Investment and Property Limited and a foreign technical partner from Israel led by the Chairman, Chukus Chilaka to his office.
Sada stated that it was part of government’s effort to provide a conducive environment for the exploration and exploitation of the nation’s mineral resources for socio-economic development in the country.
Sada said: “The Federal Government had reaffirmed its readiness to grant a duty- free importation of equipment for the development of the Gypsum resource.
I can assure you that if you are setting up a processing plant for Gypsum resource, I can get you a duty- free import of all equipment you can bring into this country.”
The Minister also revealed that currently the country has a reserve of 12.5 million metric tones of gypsum resources spread across different locations in the country, adding that, most mining operations in the country were being carried out by artisanal and small scale miners who had formed themselves into cooperative groups.
He explained further that the cooperative groups were being coordinated by the department of artisanal and small scale mining in the ministry’ and assured the delegation of the ministry’s support and partnership.
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman, Ojim Royal Investment and Property Limited, and leader of delegation, Chuks Chilaka, said the purpose of the visit was to explore areas of collaboration with the ministry for the development of gypsum resource.
Chilaka said his organisation with foreign technical partners were partnering with the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to build 20 million housing units for Nigerians, which would require gypsum resource as one of the major raw materials for the project.
Meanwhile, the foreign technical partner from Israel, Mr. Joseph Raz said his company was in partnership with Ojim Royal Investment and Property Limited to develop 20 million housing units across the country at the cost of$100 million.
Raz said the project has six plants with the capacity of 600-700 tonnes of gypsum per annum that will meet the demand of the project.
*Gabriel Iwepu – Vanguard