Nigeria Misses Out on $110 Billion Global Bitumen Market Opportunity

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Nigerian Senate Committee Pushes for Bitumen Development Amid Global Market Potential
The Nigerian Senate, through its Committee on Solid Minerals chaired by Senator Samson Ekong from Akwa Ibom South, has raised concerns about Nigeria’s absence in the lucrative $110 billion global bitumen market.

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At a public hearing discussing a bill to establish the Bitumen Development Commission, sponsored by Senator Jimoh Ibrahim of Ekiti South, it was highlighted that Nigeria holds substantial bitumen deposits, second only to Canada and Venezuela globally. Despite this advantage, inadequate development efforts have hindered Nigeria from capitalizing on this valuable resource.

Senator Ibrahim emphasized that Ondo State, with the largest bitumen deposits in Africa valued at approximately $42 billion, is pivotal. He lamented the dominance of nine countries in the global bitumen market, some with fewer resources than Nigeria.

Highlighting the economic potential, Ibrahim noted that global bitumen and heavy oil reserves total around 5.9 trillion barrels, predominantly located in Canada, the US, Nigeria, and Venezuela. The global bitumen market, valued at $107.12 billion in 2023, is projected to grow to $146.58 billion by 2030, with major players including the US, Germany, China, and India.

The establishment of the Bitumen Development Commission of Nigeria is seen as crucial by Senator Ibrahim to enhance innovation, optimize resource development financing, and diversify Nigeria’s revenue sources.

Chairman Ekong reiterated the importance of a robust legal framework to harness Nigeria’s mineral wealth, boost GDP, and create employment opportunities. He applauded Senator Ibrahim’s commitment to advancing the solid minerals sector and acknowledged the significant bitumen reserves across states like Edo, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, and Lagos.

The hearing concluded with a consensus on the necessity for strategic initiatives to unlock Nigeria’s bitumen potential and integrate it into the global market effectively.

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