By Tanko Mohammed
Nigeria has approved investment by manufacturers in the local production of bitumen and other construction materials that are being imported for the construction of roads.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) gave the approval sequel to a memorandum presented to it by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
The government also directed the Ministries of Petroleum Resources and Mines and Steel Development to develop strategies to enhance, stimulate and encourage local production.
The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing stated this in a statement issued in Abuja by the Communications Assistant to the works minister, Hakeem Bello.
It said the memo, an initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari, would boost job creation and preserve foreign exchange.
The ministry said the President had made inquiries about the sources of the major components in road construction and the possibility of producing them locally.
In the policy memorandum entitled ‘Approval for the local production of bitumen and other construction materials in Nigeria’, Fashola drew the attention of the council to the fact that bitumen and other major road construction materials were currently being imported.
He submitted that when produced locally, bitumen was expected to be sold at about N125,000 per metric tonne, which, according to him, was 48.8 percent of the cost of the imported one which stands at N285,000.