12 December 2012, Sweetcrude, Abakaliki – The Ebonyi government says it is collaborating with the Federal Government to ascertain the level of crude oil deposit at Afikpo South Local Government Area in the state.
Mr Sunday Ugwuocha, the state’s Commissioner for Cement Production and Mineral Development, announced the collaboration in Abakaliki while interacting with the people of Inyaba community in Ishielu LGA.
Ugwuocha said the process was being facilitated to explore the oil and ultimately boost the state’s revenue.
According to him, officials of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development were in the state recently to carry out preliminary investigations on the oil.
“The well was dug in Edda community in 1928 and the pipes used for the process and the ‘capping’ process is still there for all to see.
“The preliminary reports have been submitted to the ministry and the state government is still waiting the outcome of the report,” he said.
The commissioner warned the indigenes of Inyaba not to allow themselves to be used by selfish individuals to truncate the limestone mining in the area.
“Any breach of the law and order in your area will lead to delay in the anticipated industrialisation of your area.
“The state government will soon commence the payment of compensation to deserving indigenes after the evaluation by the state ministry of land and survey,” he said.
Ugwuocha said the government would not fold its arms and watch undesirable elements subvert its development activities.
“The government has also commenced preliminary investigation to ascertain the quantity of coal deposits in Afikpo North LGA,” he said.
Mr Theophilus Nwanga, one of the stakeholders, commended the transparency of the government in the limestone mining, noting that the project will help in the industrialisation of the area.
“We assure the government that we will not allow any individual or group to truncate the process which will create jobs for our teeming youths.
“We also assure the government of the safety of the miners and their equipment,” he said.