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Thursday, August 11, 2022

‘Fund research to commercial level’

By Kehinde Oluwatayo


The need to adequately fund research on exploration and exploitation of solid minerals in Nigeria for commercial purposes has been stressed.
A geologist, Dr Anthony Ademeso who made the remarks while speaking with The Hope said researchers are working hard but do not have the wherewithal to produce their products in commercial quantity.
Ademeso of the Geology Department of Federal University of Technology, Akure said investigation and exploration require fund which researchers cannot afford.
He stated that investors are not ready to put their money into investigation and exploration because of uncertainty, adding that people only invest in what they are sure of.
Ademeso who commended the effort of TETfund for releasing grant for research work in the country noted that what is being released is very small and researchers can not do much with it.
He added that not until government put enough grant into research, the country can not have a breakthrough.
“Every year we churn out geologists and they are not engaged. I have said it times and over, let us engage them, throw them into the bush, release grants and let them do exploration work on all parts of the country”, he said.
On the gold deposit in Owo, Ademeso called for indepth investigation adding that such a thing was expected since the area belongs to part of Igarra schist belt.
According to him, the miners who were arrested in the area were only doing a wide cat job. He said they only noticed certain things by experience adding they might find something and might not.
“Research has been on in all these areas for long but researches are in phases. Basically, mineralisation is expected to be in some areas and the major mineralisation zones have been limited to the areas called schist belt.
“Schist belt in Nigeria are predominantly in the western side. As you have in Oyan river area, so also you have around Ife and Ilesa and in Igarra. The lithology of rocks of the schist belt that you find in Igarra extends to Owo area”, he explained.
Ademeso who said investigation of the upper part of Igarra schist belt is ongoing for other minerals like marble, said a grant has been approved for the work.
He attributed the reason mineral resources in the country remain untapped to the exclusive right of government
to all the mineral resources.
“This is why people are calling for restructuring so that states can manage their resources but the federal government has refused to bulge.
“But I just hope that one day, they will see reasons and restructure the country in a way that all these resources can be properly researched into and explore and if possible exploited since they are of economic value”, he noted

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