Abuja – The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, says Nigeria spends more than 4 billion dollars on importation of granite annually.
Fayemi made this known at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, 4 million square metres of granite is used in the country even when it has a whole range of dimension stones that can be packaged and marketed.
“We have a whole range of dimension stones in Nigeria.
“All that is required is cutting, polishing, packaging, marketing and yet we take 3.8 million of it from outside – spending over 4 billion dollars bringing in granite.
“So four million square metres of granite are consumed in this country every year.
“We only produce two hundred thousand square metres.
“The rest of the tiles that you see, come from China, Spain, India, Portugal and Italy.
“Drive from Ekiti, Kogi, Nasarawa, drive down to Kaduna, you will see the stones. Even Abuja.
“We have black marble, we have black granite.”
The minister said although the country had the third largest reservoir of bitumen in the world, 80 per cent of the material used for road construction in Nigeria was imported.
He said the ministry would pay more attention to harnessing the stones while encouraging investors to set up processing plants in the country.
“We can do a lot better in Nigeria because we have the stones in abundance, but they are just there, we are not utilising them.’’ (NAN)