16 April 2021 By Georgina Humphrey
Minister of State Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah says the ministry has what it takes to ensure diversification of the economy, create wealth and grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for sustainable industrialization of the country.
Dr Ogah stated this during a sensitization visit to the Executive Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa on Revenue Generation Optimization in the Minerals Sector, in Asaba, Delta State.
He explained that the Ministry had initiated programmes and policies geared towards creating synergy between the Federal, States, Local Governments and community leaders to harness the mining benefits across the country.
The minister stressed that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the Ministry to efficiently develop the mining of seven priority minerals in the mining road map and strengthen collaboration with State Governments as well as relevant security agencies.
Dr Ogah also stated that part of the President’s directive includes the introduction of incentives to improve the investment climate for mining activities to stamp out illegal mining and formalize Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining activities across the country.
He added that the Ministry was determined to actualize its mandate as it would create large number of well-paying jobs for Nigerian youths.
Dr Ogah appealed to the State governor to take advantage of its strategic position in the mineral and metal sector as it is endowed with abundannce of sand deposits which can be mined and used for construction, glass manufacture, foundry operations and other industrial purposes.
” Delta State, has two integrated Steel Plants in Nigeria, Delta Steel Company located at Aladja near Warri with an installed capacity to produce one million tonnes of liquid Steel for the benefit of the State and Nigeria” Dr. Ogah added.
The Minister notified the Governor that the Federal Government had commenced the establishment of mineral processing clusters across the six – geopolitical zones of the country, citing the Barite processing cluster for the South – South Zone in Cross River State.
He therefore solicited the Governor’s continuous support towards ensuring information sharing between the State and the Federal Mines Office for proper functioning of the Delta State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO).
In his remarks, the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa stated that a strong collaboration between the Federal Government and the Private Sector would help in the development of the sector.
Dr Okowa who stated that the State had always enjoyed a warm relationship with the Federal Government on issues of mining, commended the Ministry for developing a structured approach to mining, adding that it would leverage on the mining potential to generate revenue and develop the State.