FG, states partner to develop mining sector

The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, has stated that the Federal Government was engaging in sensitisation of state governments on the need to synergise to develop the mineral sector for the benefit of Nigerians.

This, according to him, was in continuous efforts of the Federal Government to ensure the diversification of the nation’s economy, build a prosperous economy, eradicate corruption and poverty as well as provide security for all and sundry.

In a statement by Tine-Iulun M. A, and signed on behalf of the Head of Press and Public Relations Department, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Abuja, on Tuesday, said the minister stated this during his visit to Rivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Dr Ogah said collaboration between the Federal and State Governments would ensure the orderly and efficient exploitation of huge deposits of silica sand, glass sand and clay which occur in Rivers State for construction purposes and glass manufacture.

He explained that sensitising mining operators, oil and gas operators as well as mining host communities and other stakeholders would certify mining activities.

The minister said the present level of efficiency of sand dredging activities in the state could be enhanced if the ministry and state government mutually collaborate to support the mining investors in the state by providing the enabling environment for the sand dredging businesses to thrive.

In his remarks, Governor Wike supported the need for Federal and State Governments to collaborate to develop the country, saying, it was high time for leaders to concentrate on good governance to achieve greatness for the nation.

Wike who said the emphasis on crude oil has reduced the impact of mineral exploration and exploitation disclosed that Rivers State was ready and willing to partner with the Federal Government as mineral resources could play a great role in infrastructural development and job creation.

Also speaking, the 2nd National Vice President, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Kennedy Enebeli, revealed that the major mining activities in Rivers State are sand dredging and quarrying, adding that operators are haemorrhaging under the yoke of multiple regulations, controls and taxation by various agencies of all tiers of government and host communities.

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