FG Moves To Stop Importation Of Bitumen

July 23, 2020
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The federal government 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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