The federal government Thursday expressed interest in partnering with a Moroccan firm, OCPAFRICA-Nigeria in exploitation and production of phosphate in the country.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, stated this while receiving the Managing Director of OCPAFRICA Nigeria, Mohammed Hettiti and his team, who paid him a courtesy visit at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
The minister who noted the long standing and cordial relationship between Nigeria and Morocco, said the partnership will facilitate Nigeria’s drive in harnessing its phosphate potential for production of fertilizer in the country.
He said that the exploitation of phosphate in the country would have a multiplier effects as it will expand agro-allied activities that would create more job opportunities for the people as well as enhance the economic growth.
He stated that there is dearth of manpower in phosphate production in the country. He therefore, solicited the company’s support for capacity building of Nigerians with a view to providing manpower needed in exploitation and production of phosphate.
Speaking on the rationale behind the partnership, executive secretary, Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), Hajia Fatima Shinkafi, said it will help actualise the present administration’s agenda of prioritising agriculture and solid mineral development for job and wealth creation.
She said Morocco is a world class leader in the production of phosphate, adding that Nigeria has a lot to benefit from the partnership. The federal government is interested in building such synergy to enable the country tap from their wealth of experience to harness the high deposits of phosphate in the country, she said.
Earlier in his address, the leader of the delegates, Mohammed Hettiti, said the partnership is a laudable synergy and that his country is set to assist Nigeria to exploit and develop its phosphate resources for economic benefit.