UK, Nigeria partner to boost energy minerals

According to a statement on Friday, Alake spoke during an investment discussion with Oliver Dowden, British deputy prime minister in London on Wednesday.

The United Kingdom, represented by British Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, has expressed interest in collaborating with Nigeria on energy minerals, particularly lithium.

During a meeting in London with Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Oladele Alake, Dowden highlighted his country’s National Economic Security Council’s interest in a comprehensive investment package focusing on the lithium value chain.

Lithium has emerged as a linchpin in the transition towards clean and renewable energy. As a crucial component in the manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, the demand for lithium is surging globally. Recognizing the pivotal role lithium plays in the energy sector, the UK’s interest in collaborating with Nigeria underscores a shared commitment to sustainable development and the transition to greener energy alternatives.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden highlighted the UK’s National Economic Security Council’s (NESC) interest in fostering a comprehensive investment package that revolves around the lithium value chain. This strategic move aligns with the UK’s commitment to securing its economic interests while simultaneously advancing global efforts to combat climate change. The NESC’s involvement underscores the strategic importance the UK places on a sustainable and resilient energy sector.

For Nigeria, a nation rich in solid mineral resources, this collaboration opens new avenues for economic growth and diversification. The focus on lithium, which is often found in pegmatite rocks alongside other minerals, presents an opportunity to leverage Nigeria’s abundant natural resources for both domestic consumption and international trade. The development of a lithium value chain can contribute significantly to the nation’s economic prosperity and technological advancement.

A statement from the minister’s Special Adviser, Kehinde Bamigbetan, mentioned that the discussion extensively covered a detailed investment package revolving around lithium.

Dowden, who chairs the British National Economic Security Council, emphasized the UK’s interest in partnering with Nigeria on energy minerals like lithium. He mentioned that the meeting aimed to initiate discussions between both nations and that officials from the Department of Trade and investors would collaborate to finalize the partnership details.

He urged Alake to convey his pleasure to welcome President Bola Tinubu to the African Summit scheduled to take place next year.

In his initial remarks, Alake said Nigeria had large deposits of minerals and ready to partner investors from the United Kingdom, adding that President Tinubu, as the chief marketer of Nigeria’s investment drive, would consider the invitation positively.

The minister announced that President Tinubu’s administration had introduced value addition as a priority policy in the sector.

“Our new policy places emphasis on local value addition rather than export of raw minerals so that the value of our mineral products can increase,” he said.

“If Nigeria is not doing well, Britain should be concerned. If Nigeria is doing well, Britain can benefit from the opportunities,” Alake told Dowden.

The minister said the Nigerian team would be willing to sit down with their British counterparts to take the discussion to the next level.

Dowden hailed the Federal Government of Nigeria for its policy on value addition.

The British Deputy Prime Minister noted that going up the value chain would create more economic opportunities for the partnership between both countries.


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