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Nigeria Moves To Stop Importation Of Bitumen

The federal government of Nigeria has begun moves to stop the importation of bitumen into the country. Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola disclosed this to State House correspondents after the federal executive council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, a significant amount of bitumen used in road construction in Nigeria is imported, therefore creating jobs abroad.

He further explained that a directive would be issued to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Ministry of Mines and Steel to develop

strategies to enhance, stimulate, and encourage local production of bitumen.

He said, “The Ministry of Work and Housing presented a memorandum on the initiative of the President as to our source of bitumen which is used in road construction and its cost.

It was a policy memorandum which revealed that a significant amount of bitumen we used in road construction in Nigeria is imported, therefore

creating jobs abroad and recommended to council to approve a directive to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Ministry of Mines and

Steel to develop strategies to enhance, stimulate, and encourage local production of bitumen.

“Essentially, that policy recommendation was approved by the council today to encourage bitumen production locally in Nigeria. This will of

course help to further diversify the economy and open another sub-sector of the extractive and hydro-carbon industry for local

opportunities.

“We see a demand of 500,000 metric tonnes of bitumen locally per annum. So, we encourage those who can manufacture and produce bitumen locally to tap into this demand.”

He further explained that “We see the opportunity for thousands of jobs to be created directly if this is done. And government intends to

give encouragement and support to all those who take up this opportunity.

“We expect Kaduna Refinery to also raise its game by participating in this sub-sector of hydrocarbon industry. We expect that it will

improve the quality of bitumen that is produced and goes into our road construction. Just as we are now able to control the quality of cement that goes into local construction.

“We are also promoting the use of more cement, stones, and rocks in road construction. Our ministry is now developing a design manual rock

and stone in road construction in the country.

“These are the framework of policy documentations that we presented to council today and they were approved. So, we expect the Nigerian

entrepreneurial community to now respond to all of the existing government policies for setting up businesses and embracing this

policy as part of ways to develop our made-in-Nigeria capacity.”

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