The federal government thursday commenced a nationwide integrated exploration project, saying eight out of 44 companies that submitted bids for the process were successful.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bawa Bwari, who launched the scheme, noted that the project, which is under the Natural Resources Fund, would be executed by his ministry.

Bwari, while flagging off the exploration, said Nigeria is blessed with diverse mineral resources, which can only serve their purpose if they are properly and comprehensively harnessed to enable stakeholders make investment decisions

The minister stressed that following the policies laid down in the ministry’s roadmap to help actualise federal government’s diversification agenda, the ministry intends to advance the development and use of different mineral commodities.