The Minister of Solid Minerals and Mining, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said Nigeria will soon be using coal as an alternative source of energy.
The minister who disclosed this when the Executive Director of a Non-Governmental Organization, CSR-in-Action, Bekeme Masade, led a team of civil society organisations on a visit to him.
He said the Ministry of Power, Woks and Housing, has set itself the policy on energy needs and it has proposed that coal will contribute 30 percent into the energy needs.
According to him, “We have dedicated that coal licenses will only be awarded to those who want to generate electricity and we are collaborating with the FMPWH on this,” adding that the process is on.
He further said, “There are certain processes you need to fulfil. You need to have a licence for power generation before you acquire a licence for mining. Since the inception of this administration, no licence for coal has been awarded which is not for the purposes of power generation.
Fayemi added, “So if you acquire a licence for mining coal, you have to also have that for power. Once the application is filed and it is not encumbered by any legal, or existing holder of a licence, the licence is awarded, but it must be for power generation only. Quite a number of companies have applied directly either to us or to the FMPWH.”
Fayemi, who was represented by his Technical Adviser, Egghead Odewale, said the original concession agreement that was signed between Nigeria, Global Steel Holding Limited and Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, “has been re-modified.
“The original concession agreement that was signed between the Federal Government of Nigeria, Global Steel Holding Limited and Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited has been re-modified. It has been modified to decouple Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited from Nigeria Iron Ore Mining Company in Itakpe.
He stated, “What that also portends is that Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited now has seven years of their original concession to complete the mining operation to operate Neo-coal in Itakpe whereas Ajaokuta has reverted to the government of Nigeria. So it is now been held by the Federal Government of Nigeria.”