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Ethiopia closer to extracting crude oil for the first time

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said the country will start extracting crude oil from the eastern region on Thursday, local media has reported

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said the country will start extracting crude oil from the eastern region on Thursday, local media has reported.

Mr Abiy said exploration, which has been going on for a long time in the Ethiopia’s Somali region, has produced positive results.

Chinese company Poly-GCL has been undertaking the project.

The company will start producing 450 barrels of crude oil per day, but this is expected to increase.

Mr Abiy said work to construct a pipeline that would move the oil to Djibouti port will start soon.

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New $700 million loan approved by World Bank for Nigeria

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Amid its recent economic challenges, Nigeria has received approval from multilateral lender, World Bank for a fresh $700m loan to enhance adolescent girls’ learning and empowerment.

With the new loan, more money will be available for the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment, a project that is already underway.

The Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms. Patience Oniha, in January, disclosed that the country’s total debt stock may hit N77 trillion by the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on May 29, 2023

The World Bank, in a statement, said it had “approved additional financing of $700m for Nigeria to scale up the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment programme whose goal is to improve secondary education opportunities among girls in targeted states.

“The additional financing will scale up project activities from the current seven states to eleven additional states and increase the targeted beneficiaries to include out-of-school girls, those who are married, and those who have disabilities.”

The statement added, “In the seven AGILE programme implementing states – Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau – the number of girls in secondary schools has increased from about 900,000 to over 1.6 million.

“Under the programme, over 5,000 classrooms have been renovated and over 250,000 eligible girls have received scholarships.

“The AGILE programme has supported the construction and rehabilitation of WASH facilities in secondary schools and the installation of computers and solar panels which make attending school more convenient and conducive for both girls and boys. Life skills, systems strengthening, and advocacy are other key aspects of the program which address social norms impeding girls’ education.

“Closing the gender disparities in economic empowerment by ensuring girls have access to education and skills is vital for Nigeria’s growth and economic prosperity,” said Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank’s country director for Nigeria

“Nigeria’s working population will soon be one of the youngest and largest around the world, which means that investing in adolescent girls is imperative when addressing overall economic prospects and growth.”

Despite the recent removal of fuel subsidies, Nigeria’s public finance is currently affected by dwindling oil prices and industrial-scale crude oil theft.

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South Korea eyes Nigerian Lithium as global battery demand rises

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Nigeria’s Ministry of Solid Minerals Development on Thursday revealed that the South Korean government had indicated interest in lithium deposits from Nigeria.

The Nigerian government engaged the South Korean government at the Seventh Korea-Africa Economic Co-operation Conference in Busan, South Korea, according to a statement issued by the ministry’s Deputy Director (Information), Alaba Balogun.

Officials from the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development and Oando Mining Company made up the Nigerian delegation at the event, while representatives from the Korean Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources and Korean Mines were also present.

A 2006 Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and South Korea on investments in the solid minerals sector was revised as part of the engagement, according to the statement.

It stated that the proposed revision to the 2006 MoU “include training of Nigerian mining professionals in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Ore Modelling, Mineral Processing, research, and exploration of critical minerals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite.”

Lithium is a core resource used for the production of batteries. With increases in battery demand, electric vehicles will be a strong driver of lithium consumption in the next decade, and South Korea will be a top global producer of batteries.

The statement added, “KIGAM president, Dr Pyeong Koo-lee, offered to collaborate with Nigeria to explore the large deposits of lithium-bearing pegmatites.

“He said KIGAM has the best technology in lithium ore processing, adding that the beneficiation process can reduce the carbon to improve the grade of the ore.

“Vice President of the state-owned KOMIR, Dr Alex Kwon, expressed interest in overseas mining investment, adding that KOMIR provides technical and financial assistance and investment in the exploration and mining of solid minerals”, it added.

Considering the potential to export mineral resources to the rest of the globe and the need for diversification, the mining and quarrying sector is essential to Nigeria’s growth.

In general, it is claimed that Nigeria is endowed with around forty (40) different types of minerals, including marble, coal, iron ore, gold, silica, lead, zinc, tin ore, manganese, granite, laterite, limestone, among others.

A report by Statista said by 2030, the global demand for lithium is expected to surpass two million metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent, more than doubling the demand forecast for 2025.

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