By Chioma Iruke
As part of efforts to boost local production and reduce import dependency, the Nigerian Government on Thursday launched the Nigerian Barite, with a first batch of 50 bags already mined, milled and bagged locally.
The move means the Nigerian Government is banning the importation of Barite, an important mineral used in the Oil and Gas industry.
Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Engr Simbi Wabote, carried out the launch on behalf of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva at the Helicon Industrial Service, Trans Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Speaking shortly before the launch, Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite noted that Nigeria has Barite in large quantities all over the country, mainly in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Plateau, Borno, Gombe and Cross River States.
“Nigeria has been spending $300 million annually importing barite into the country, effectively this will stop.
“Now Nigeria is ready to supply the local market of barite and also to export to other oil producing countries around us; Ghana, South Africa where we can export our barite.
“Not just only conserving our foreign exchange for Nigeria but also earning foreign exchange thereby through the exportation,” he said.
Other top dignitaries at the launch were the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, represented by his Deputy, Dr lpalibo Banigo, as well as other top Management Staff of the NCDMB.