President Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday inaugurated a $250 million lithium factory in Nasarawa State, as part of the federal government’s efforts to meet up with the battery and energy demands of Nigerians. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ganfeng Lithium Industry Limited Factory in Endo community of Udege in Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state, President Tinubu said the project was in line with his administration’s commitment to providing adequate energy for Nigerians. The president, who was represented by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, therefore, commended the company for initiating the project and assured it of the federal government’s support at all times. According to the president, “I must say congratulations to this company for this uncommon feat. Under this administration, we shall do everything possible to discourage the carting away of our solid minerals without value addition. “I want to emphasise the fact that the era of exporting raw solid minerals from Nigeria is over. To further demonstrate our seriousness in stopping the illegal export of our solid minerals, we are collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to detect both major and minor raw materials from the ports. “Your decision to set up a factory to make lithium batteries is a product of great wisdom. We will give you all the support that you need to turn this idea into reality because you have dared to enter into a terrain that others have been too scared to venture into, and I am convinced that my presence here will give you the boost to deliver this project according to specifications.” On his part, the President of Ganfeng Lithium Industry Limited, Pan Quen, explained that the mega factory, after completion, would have the capacity to process 18,000 metric tons of lithium per day and 4.5 million metric tons annually. While narrating that the project has a duration of 24 months, Quen added that the factory would also have the capacity to provide direct employment to 2,500 Nigerians after its completion. “I strongly believe that with the construction of the lithium factory in Nasarawa State, more of Chinese stakeholders will invest in Nigeria, which would help to boost the economy of the country,” he said. Earlier in his welcome address, Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, while assuring them of the state government’s continuous support to investors, expressed gratitude to dignitaries from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other parts of the country for gracing the event despite their tight schedules.