Abuja - The Federal Government would develop coal fields across the country to facilitate electricity generation and industrialisation.
Musa Sada, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, stated this in Abuja on Sunday.
He noted that “everybody, including President Goodluck Jonathan, wants us to start producing power from coal.’’
Sada said the Federal Government had introduced the National Integrated Infrastructure Master plan (NIIM) to develop coal fields as part of designed efforts to generate power and fast-track industrialisation.
According to him, the federal government has identified 16 coal blocks across the country, including Enugu, Gombe, Nasarawa, Benue, Delta and Kogi states.
He said the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency and the National Steel Raw Material Exploration Agency (NSRMEA) were still undertaking exploration work on coal deposits in the country.
He added that “currently, NSRMEA is working on the exploration of coal in Obi in Nasarawa State. We have one of the best quality coal there; the agency has conducted a lot of study around there.’’
He said that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Power, had established an inter-ministerial committee to assess people who could use coal to produce power.
The minister said some coal blocks were currently under the supervision of the Ministry of Power to enable investors to generate coal for power generation.
"Some of the investors have made some recommendations that if the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) can give them the certificate or permit to produce power, the ministry should allocate coal blocks to them.
"There is one Indian company whose permit is currently being processed by NERC and we have already started the process of allocating coal blocks to the company.
"We have also signed out coal block to a Chinese company located in Enugu.
"Currently, they are on site working to establish a coal power plant but they have to establish the quantity of available coal and know the number of years it can last.’’
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.