The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in collaboration with Price waterhouse Coopers (PwC) has provided clarifications on the competitive tender for the selection of bidders for the development of Nigeria’s delineated Bitumen blocs.
The ministry made this clarification in a statement issued by Mr Simon Obadiah, the Director, General of Mining Cadastre and the Chairman of Bitumen Committee, following a virtual meeting held on the issues in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development had issued PwC a letter of award on Nov. 11, 2022, designating it as its Transaction Manager.
The ministry designated PwC to oversee the selection of bidders for the development of Nigeria’s defined bitumen blocs through a competitive tender procedure.
In his remarks, Obadiah, said that Nigeria was blessed with a lot of mineral resources which had remained untapped.
According to him, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has recorded tremendous success after its establishment.
Obadiah, who noted that there was more to be done, said, “bitumen is one of the very important resources that have remained untapped.”
Calling on more investors to buy into the development, the chairman said that “all hands must be on deck for the good of everyone.”
Dr Abdulrasaq Garba, the Director-General of Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, provided an up to date history of bitumen exploration in Nigeria.
in his presentation, he said that Nigeria ranks 6th in bitumen reserves in the world, with reserves estimated at 42 billion barrels.
Garba also gave some geo-scientific data and all other information needed to guide the investors in the making of sound judgement in whatever area they are looking to invest in.
The leader of the Mining Practice at Price waterhouse Coopers Nigeria, Cyril Azobu, said that the scope of the PwC mandate was to ensure uniqueness and peculiarity of the exploration, development and extraction of bitumen.
Azobu said that only suitably qualified local and international investors with prerequisite experience, technological expertise and financial capacity would be chosen to execute bitumen development to a meaningful extraction-level.
He said that this would be through a transparent and competitive procurement process as enshrined in the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act, 2007 and in line with global best industry practices.
In his presentation, the Director, Capital Projects and Infrastructure, Mr Suleiman Ibrahim, highlighted the criteria for the qualification of investors and a project overview as well.
“PwC has disclosed that a two-stage bidding process will be adopted; the request for qualification and the request for proposal stage.
Also, the bidding process is to go on for seven months from May to November 2022,” Ibrahim said.
He added that the local and international investors were expected to prepare a “Request for Qualification Application and send it to bitumen.ngsa.gov.ng”.
“The application is to consist of six credentials which include experience in bitumen testing, bitumen refining capabilities, bitumen exploration and extraction.
“Investors are also needed to comply with applicable environmental, social and governance sustainability guidelines; balance sheet assets exceeding 25 million dollars; and lastly, technical and financial capability to execute feasibility studies.
“The main use of bitumen in Nigeria is for road construction.
The bitumen, an important component of asphalt, is used for road paving.
“The main focus of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the bidding process is bitumen to asphalt,” he said.