Port Harcourt — The federal government on Monday solicited for the collaboration of the Rivers State Government in harnessing and developing solid minerals in the state.
The Minister of State, Mines and Steel, Dr. Uche Ogah, on a courtesy visit to Governor Nyesom Wike, said he was also in the state to sensitised mining operators, oil and gas operators on the use of commercial explosives for their operations.
The Minister while sharing with the governor, the policy focus of the Federal Government for the development of the nation’s solid mineral resources; said the federal government would efficiently exploit silica sand, glass sand and clay in the state, for manufacturing.
He further disclosed that he was in the state to inspect explosive storage facilities of some oil and gas companies; and also Inspect some sand dredging sites round the city environs.
“Our objective of this visit is to solicit for the support and partnership of the Government of Rivers State in ensuring 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 manufacturing.
“Sensitizing mining operators, oil and gas operators with the use of commercial explosives for their operations as well as mining host communities and other stakeholders.
“This is with a view of ensuring that, mining activities are conducted in a safe, and environmentally friendly manner consistent with the provisions of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007
“Commercial explosives used in oil and gas operations are stored and used in a safe and secured manner in line with provisions of the Explosives Act and Regulations.”
The Minister emphasised that the Federal Government was implementing policies aimed at diversifying the nation’s economic away from dependence on oil to Mining and Agriculture for economic growth and sustainability.
He said the Federal Government’s mining policy focuses on key priority project areas, including, streamlining application processes and significantly increasing private sector investment in mining.
“Ensuring orderly and efficient mining of the seven priority minerals in the mining roadmap (Coal, Bitumen, Limestone, Iron Ore, Barites, Gold and Lead/Zinc Ore).
“Strengthening collaboration with State Governments and relevant security agencies to ensure security and safety of mining areas; and Stamping out illegal mining and formalizing artisanal and small-scale mining activities across the country.”