UK, Nigerian officials in high-stakes Lithium negotiations in London

“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,”

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UK, Nigerian officials, in high-stakes Lithium negotiations, London
Dele Alake (left), with British Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden

A comprehensive investment package comprising the lithium value chain topped high-value talks between British Deputy Prime Minister Mr Oliver Dowden and Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake in London.

According to a statement by Kehinde Bamigbetan, Special Adviser to the minister, the talks held on the sidelines of the “Mines and Money Conference”  in United Kingdom.

Bamigbetan quoted Alake as saying  that Nigeria had large deposits of minerals and was ready to partner with investors from the United Kingdom.

He said that President Bola Tinubu 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.

According to him, if Nigeria is not doing well, Britain should be concerned.

“And if Nigeria is doing well, Britain can benefit from the opportunities,” he said.

He said that the Nigerian team would be willing to sit down with its British counterpart to take the discussion to the next level.

Dowden said the meeting was to kick off discussion between both countries and that officials of the Department of Trade and investors would work out the details of the partnership.

He commended the Nigerian  government for the policy on value addition, adding that going up the value chain would create more economic opportunities for partnership between both countries.

He highlighted the importance of the relationship between both countries, observing that if the relations were bad, Britain would not be bothered with the supplies.

“You are right on value addition. If the processing then happens within a third world country that we are comfortable with, that would be good,” he said.

BRANDPOWER reports that Dowden chairs the British National Economic Security Council, which is interested in partnering with Nigeria on energy minerals such as lithium.

Meanwhile, founder and partner of Carousel Bio-Energy, promoters of the project, Jafar Hilali, briefed the meeting on his firm’s plans to intervene at every stage of the lithium value chain in Nigeria, leading to the establishment of a lithium battery production factory.

He promised to assemble a consortium of British companies in power supply, infrastructure, and lithium battery production with a projection to produce lithium battery-powered energy buses for Nigeria’s domestic market.