…despite 42.74bn MT reserves
The Director-General, Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (NMCO) Mr. Mbadiah Nkom, has said that it is lamentable that Nigeria spent $13 million on bitumen importation as of 2020 despite that Nigeria is blessed with yet untapped 42.74 billion metric tonnes of bitumen reserve. Bitumen is located in Rivers, Ogun, Bayelsa, Ondo and Delta states.
Speaking during a round table of a three-day summit of Nigeria-Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit on Thursday in Abuja, Nkom noted that the current global market for bitumen was $42 billion.
He added that the market could increase to $66 billion by 2027 as a result of the high demand for bitumen. Nkom said: “This shows that there will be a rise in the value of bitumen market by 2027; that is why Nigeria should look into bitumen exploration that will bring development to the country.
“Nigeria can conserve its foreign exchange when it starts exploration on the mineral and this will bring a boost to our economy. “Currently, Nigeria is ranked sixth in the world in terms of bitumen deposit.
“The demand for bitumen in Nigeria is high as it is mainly used for road construction. “Currently, Nigeria has more than 160,000 kilometres of roads to be tared, while only 60,000 are tared.”
The Partner/Mining Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and member, Bitumen Steering Committee, Mr Cyril Azobu, said the programmes had been lined up for the successful take off of bitumen concession to the right investors. He expressed the hope that it will be concluded before the end of 2022.
Azobu claimed that PwC was the transaction advisor for government on the concession of bitumen to investors He stated that Nigeria is endowed with good quality, but untapped bitumen.
Azobu said: “Bitumen is a big demand all over the world. Nigeria can serve as a hub for local supply of bitumen or asphalt for export in sub-Sahara to other countries.”