Two firms, D Four Metals and Plastona Limited have entered into a joint venture agreement to establish an ultra-modern $3 million smelting plant and a refinery in Jos, Plateau State for the production of exportable products.
According to the firms, the move by both organisations was coming on the heels of the present administration’s policy of adding value to products and services before they are being exported to the world.
It stems out of their concern that Nigeria exports almost all her abundant natural resources, crude, raw and unprocessed, rather than processing same locally.
The Chief Executive Officer, Plastona Limited, Mr. E. Collins, in a statement, said that the plant expected to commence operations in the 3rd quarter of 2019, would have the capacity to produce 11,000 tons of lead ingots annually, a metal material required for further processing in steel production.
He added that setting up the facility would create lots of job opportunities for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths while also generating foreign exchange via exports of its finished products.
He said Plastona with offices in Lagos and London, would deploy the latest use of blast furnace technology, saying that most of the equipment will be brought in from China where the company’s technical partners.
He pointed out that when completed and fully operational, the facility would help Nigeria save hard-earned foreign exchange she spends on importing raw materials the country has competitive and comparative advantage of producing.
The Chief Executive Officer, D four Metals Mr Olusegun Oyalana, noted that the total investment over the 12 months would be around $3m, stressing that the plant is expected to break even within 18months after construction.
‘‘The project is in line with the federal government’s policy of adding value to minerals before export thereby reducing capital flight. The output of the plant will be sold to international companies registered on the London metal exchange. He also stated that the raw materials will be sourced from various local mines in Plateau, Gombe and Bauchi States.
He stated the need for Nigeria to develop her natural resources, stressing that this was the surest way to drive economic growth while also diversifying the nation’s economy from hydro-carbon resources to other sectors.
He noted that Nigeria has no business being poor considering her huge natural endowments, calling on the managers of the economy to develop friendly policies to attract both local and foreign investments into the nation’s solid minerals sector.
It would be recalled that the federal government recently disclosed that the country has several untapped solid minerals resources with each of the 36 states boasting of one resource or the other.