Port Harcourt — As a way of reducing the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens, the Federal Government has formalized plans to set up barite processing plant in Cross River State.
The project, which is a part of the Federal Government’s Artisanal and Small-Scale Mineral Processing Cluster for the South-South Zone, is expected to see to the development of solid minerals in the zone.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, said the Federal Government’s choice of Cross River for the cluster project for Barite value chain development, was predicated on the fact that the state is endowed with large commercial deposits of the minerals.
Ogah spoke in Calabar, at the formal take over ceremony of landed property donated by the State Government for the establishment of Artisanal and Small-scale Mineral Processing Cluster in the state.
He explained that the project was an initiative of the Federal Government in swift response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that was ravaging the world, in order to reduce the devastating effect of the pandemic on her citizenry.
With huge deposit of barite around Obubra through to Yala Local Government Area of the state, the Minister expressed optimism that the project which will be of benefit to the people and the state, will create job opportunities as well as wealth for the people.
He called on Cross Riverians for support and input to ensure to a successful project plan.
Meanwhile, Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has commended the Federal Government’s initiative of siting Artisanal and Small-Scale Mineral Processing Plant in Cross River for the South-South Zone.
Ayade, represented by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu, assured of maximum cooperation from the state government in making the project a reality.
“Let me once again thanked the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel for not allowing politics, nepotism and corruption to influence their decision of siting the Barite Processing Cluster in the State.
“The Cross River State Government shall give you the maximum cooperation to enable Federal Government achieve its set objective.”