25 November 2012, Sweetcrude, Enugu – The Anambra state government will soon embark on massive exploitation of her abundant solid mineral resources, in order to continue to grow the state’s economy through viable revenue yielding ventures.
Disclosing this to Sweetcrude in an exclusive interview in her Office at Awka, friday, the state’s Commisioner for Economic Development, Professor Chinyere Okunna, said nature had endowed Anambra state with a variety of solid minerals scattered in parts of the state.
She said these include kaolin, clay, lead/zinc, limestone, iron ore, glass sand, phosphate, gypsium and lignite in addition to the hydro carbon about being harnessed.
The Commissioner maintained that, although the state’s economy had witnessed steady development and growth(especially with the presence and support of many development partners, such as the UNICEF, DFID/UKAID, UNDP, World Bank and the European Union), exploiting and harnessing of these solid minerals, would bring in more Income that would be ploughed in, to fast-track economic development and growth.
Professor Okunna who also chairs the state’s Millenium Development Programme, said this plan to give attention to solid mineral development in the state now, was in line with goal ‘7’ of the Millenium Development Goal, MDG, which advocates the “integration of the principles of sustainable development into the country policies and programmes, aimed at reversing loss of environmental resources and the reduction of bio-diversity loss”
She regretted that, in spite of the high revenue potentials of these solid minerals, the state government had not been able to give it the desired attention, due largely(and ironically) to paucity of fund.
She said: “We are poor; relatively poor. Some oil producing states collect monthly allocations from the Federal goernment, of upwards of N26billion. Some collect N18billion, N16billion, etc. But what we collect monthly is just about N3billion.”
The Commissioner however disclosed that the state intended approahb the federal govenment, to source money from the Ecological Fund and the and the Natural Resources Fund, to be invested in the development of the solid minerals.
“We are trying to access fund from these sources. Once we get that kind of fund, we go into exploiting the minerals”, she assured.