Don’t Leave Host Community In Ruins – Tinubu Warns Lithium Investors

President Bola Tinubu has advised lithium investors to prioritise environmental protection and community engagement, warning them not to leave the host community in ruins in their exploration activities.

Receiving a delegation from Avatar New Energy Materials Company Limited and Canmax Technologies led by Nasarawa Governor Abdullahi Sule, Tinubu commended the inauguration of Nigeria’s largest lithium processing plant in Lafia, Nasarawa State. 

According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, Sule was accompanied on the visit to the President by Mr. Hi Yongwei, Chairman of Avatar New Energy Materials Company Limited, and Mr. Zhenhua Pei, Chairman, Canmax Technologies. 

Tinubu, however, emphasised the need for responsible mining practices, saying, “You must not leave the community in ruins as you explore for our high-grade minerals. You must be concerned with cooperation and always care for the community.”

The President urged the companies to prioritize environmental protection, community engagement, and corporate social responsibility initiatives, ensuring that their operations benefit the local population and minimize ecological damage.

Avatar New Energy Materials Company Limited has invested $500 million in the lithium processing plant, which produces about 4,000 metric tonnes daily. Canmax Technologies has announced a new investment of $200 million for another lithium processing plant in Nasarawa State.

He, however stated his administration’s commitment to ensuring that Nigeria becomes a key player in the global lithium market and a solar panel and EV battery manufacturing hub in Africa. 

”There are other aspects of lithium that you are exploring in the country, especially in battery production. Nigeria is a huge market for solar panels. Africa is a major consumer of solar technologies. I do not see why these panels and batteries cannot be produced here. 

“The labour is cheaper. Our youths are vibrant and skilled. Our people are brilliant and adapt to new technology. The economy is increasingly more vibrant, and Nigeria is dependable. We have the consumption capacity and a surplus of steady-handed citizens with gifted minds and an innate drive to work and produce.

”We are caring partners. We want your investments to succeed so that you can expand further. Whenever you call on us, we will help you. You can, in mutually-beneficial collaboration with us, dominate the solar panel market as part of a revolution in Africa and the West African sub-region. 

”You can always promote the interest of China and Nigeria as the best place in Africa to do business. We are preparing to produce in this country the solar technologies that the entire continent will use,” the President said. 

Tinubu also applauded Sule and Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr. Dele Alake, for their dedication to ensuring environmental protection and value addition by mining firms operating in the country. 

”The Governor of Nasarawa State and the Honourable Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, also share in these congratulations. 

”It is a great joy to have you (the Chinese executives) in Nigeria. It is part of our campaign that Nigeria is open for business. We congratulate your courage in believing in us and the inauguration of the new factory.

”I can assure you that we will continue to give you the necessary support and encouragement. This is an opportunity for you to help tell the rest of the investment world that Nigeria is solid and open for business,” the President said.

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