From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna, Maj-Gen Jamil Sarham, said the development of the solid minerals sector will reduce the over-dependence of Nigeria on petroleum.
Gen. Sarham disclosed this on Tuesday in Jos while signing a memorandum of understanding with the National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC) Jos for the establishment of Academic and scholarly Comprehensive linkages held at the NNDC, Jos, Plateau State.
“With the abundant solid minerals in the nation, there is no need to rely solely on petroleum which is gradually fizzling out”.
He noted that the gesture was imperative as the NDA has reached an advanced stage for the establishment of a centre for Research in Solid minerals to reduce over-reliance on the oil industry.
Represented by the Deputy Commandant of the Academy, Air Vice Marshall Ibrahim Ali, Major General Sarham, noted that the Academy has been offering many courses in different fields, hence the need to collaborate with various institutions.
He noted that the partnership would be reviewed from time to time to boost the technological and socio-economic development of the country.
The Director-General of the NMDC, Professor Linus Asuquo, said Centre was well equipped to compliment NDA’s efforts in the educational training of officer cadets in engineering and physical sciences, especially in metallurgy, minerals technology, analytical services, environmental studies, among others.
“NMDC has been training students of institutions of higher learning in the country in various fields of technology under the federal government’s Industrial Training Fund (ITF) programme. The centre also serves as a laboratory to some universities and Polytechnics that do not have established laboratory infrastructure for accreditation by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) or the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) as the case might be.
“The function of the centre is to undertake examination and evaluation of mineral samples for the purpose of ascertaining the mineral species contained therein. We also carry out liberation studies, characterization and identification of ores and other mineral species, so as to release their valuable grain constituents for industrial use.
“Additionally, we carry out applied research and develop both conventional and new refractory products using indigenous mineral raw materials, among others,” he said.
The Director-General said their activities have led to the completion of a databank of moulding material like silica sand, clays and other binding materials, adding that they have also been rendering services to various government and private organizations.