Nigerian government will inaugurate the local production of barite to save the country from spending some 300 million U.S. dollars annually importing it, a cabinet official said on Monday.
Olamilekan Adegbite, minister of mines and steel development, told the media in Abuja that this development to protect the local barite market would be a great achievement for the west African country, as it would also save foreign exchange for Nigeria.
Adegbite said that the government might place an outright ban on the importation of barite or create tariff protection for the local barite.
According to the official, there is barite, which is a mineral used in the oil and gas industry, in Nigeria.
“Now, Nigeria is ready to supply the local users with barite and also to export to other oil-producing countries such as Ghana, South Africa to earn foreign exchange through exportation,” the minister said, noting the government has concluded arrangements to inaugurate the “Made-In-Nigeria Barite” later this week in Port Harcourt, capital city of the oil-rich Rivers State.
He said the barite produced in Nigeria was processed to meet the standard set for oil industries by the America Petroleum Institute (API).
“The API standard says for barite to be used in the oil and gas industry, it must meet a minimum of 4.1 gravity. The barite we have in Nigeria is from 3.8 to 4.8 gravity, which means we have some that exceeded the API standard,” he added. Enditem