EXPERTS in the metallurgical sector on Thursday said the Federal Government can earn $280 billion and $12 billion from the iron ore and lead reserve in the country respectively.
The estimated deposits of iron ore stands at three billion tons, coal at three billion tons while lead/zinc is 10 million tons, according to the 2018 report of Geology and Mineral Resources of Nigeria and their Uses.
National Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineers Engr. Ayo Adeyemo said said this huge cash is aside the potential cash that other minerals such as coal, gold, tantalites and cassiterite could fetch the government.
He said Ajaokuta steel company, on completion will create between 15,000 direct jobs and 500,000 indirect jobs in the upstream and downstream sector.
Adeyemo spoke in Abuja, at the investiture ceremony/public lecture of Engr. Adeyemo as the 10th national chairman and his executive committee team.
Speaking with reporters, he said: “In iron ore alone, Nigeria can earn over $200billion and from lead and zinc, from the proven reserve we can earn over $102billion, you can see the potentials in mining and the mineral sector is so huge that for you to quantify it will take a very long time. All this is from the proven reserve so if you are able to mine it within any amount of time, that is the amount that will be realised.
“When I say proven reserve, it means the one that you are able to say this is the quantity in existence and there are still a lot that they have not been able to estimate. The only problem keeping Nigeria from earning this is the lack of political will on the part of the government and we can also mention corruption as part of this as well.
“Data available from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the gross domestic product (GDP) of coal metal ores and other mined and quarried products stand at NGN 102 billion ($330 million) in 2016 during the recession, it rose to N126 billion ($407 miilion) in 2017.”