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Ebonyi Plans To Hit N1B Monthly Revenue Generation From Solid Minerals

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Comrade Jonah Egba, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Solid Minerals Development Communities, has expressed hope that going by the revenue drive of the ministry, the State government will soon hit its targeted one billion naira monthly revenue generation from the states mineral resources.

Comrade Egba stated this in an EBBC Radio programme, ‘Ebonyi Today’ in Abakaliki.

According to the Commissioner, the Ministry of Solid mineral Development Communities was created on the foresight of the state governor, Engr David Umahi, on popular belief that oil would one day dry in the country.

He stated that before the creation of the ministry, Solid minerals, was a unit in the ministry of commerce and industry, but since his assumption of office in August 2019, the management of the ministry had laid a solid foundation to cushion the anticipated future load of the ministry.

He maintained that the ministry has in additional to existing Departments, created; Mines Inspectorate Department, Department of Environmental compliance, Department of laboratory and production, as well as the Geological and Physical Department to ensure an administrative convenience in the overall monitoring and supervision of miners’ activities in the state.

Chief Egba revealed that the Ministry’s management had earlier set up a 16 man committee to produce the solid mineral development Blueprint which has its contents as the roadmap, and what the ministry intends to achieve in the area of Solid mineral development in the next fifty years; a template which according to him was later defended in the state Executive Council.

He emphasised that the solid mineral base of the state, going by the Bluebrint could carry over sixty percent of the State’s total budget, with the feasibility of Solid mineral becoming the mainstay of the State’s Economy.

He added that the ministry also set up a committee to enhance the publicity on the abundance of over fifteen minerals in the state, introducing viable publicity windows towards attracting intending solid minerals investors to the State.

He listed existing mineral resources in the state to include among others; Barrite, lead, zinc while disclosing that lead was more of processed mineral, known as ‘first patriot’ which was first of its kind, in the entire country.

He explained that the processed and extracted lead and zinc form the concentrates which are shipped out, serving as huge revenue source to the State.

On environmental regulations, Comrade Egba, stated that Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was a pre-requisite for getting involved in mining in the state.

He stated that the Environmental Impact Assesment contains the do’s and don’ts, as enforced by the Federal government in collaboration with the state through the strict application of its contents to ensure safety of both the people and the environment.

He disclosed that the ministry through its knitted approaches was finely positioned to hit one Billion naira monthly Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), which could be churned into further development of the state.

He listed some of the revenue sources to include those generated from Haulage, among others fees, which according to him has boosted the revenue Profile of the State.

He explained that because the state was conducive for miners coupled with the state government friendly disposition through proper negotiation, the state will soon take its leading position as the highest Solid mineral base of the country.

He disclosed that for a person to engage in mining in the state, one has to have the pre-requisites which must include, the mining licence, before visiting the ministry on agreement processes known as the CDA, with the concerned ministries.

Also Speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Mr Sunday Okike, commended the state governor, Engr David Umahi for carving out the ministry of Solid Mineral Development Communities from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

He described the ministry Solid Mineral Development Communities as a point of reference to other revenue generating ministries.

Mr Okike disclosed that it was part of the duties of the ministry to ensure that the mining companies operate under the confines of the regulations guiding their operations; especially as it concerns environ hazards.

He maintained that every mineral company lives to protect their environment, and workers as the ministry of Solid mineral Development Communities carries out regular supervision, to the companies, to encourage them to observe the rules, by providing personal protective equipment for their workers as well as being on them to cover pits to avoid posing as death traps.

The Permanent Secretary maintained that to ensure that the mining sites do not constitute environmental hazards, they have to subject them to complying with necessary environmental provisions.

On penalties to defaulting companies, he explained that the ministry had consistently exerted its control on companies by charging them on consciousness to live on the protection of the environment.

On illegal mining, the Permanent Secretary, said it constitutes a major problem as it had deflated government effort towards revenue generation for the state.

He explained that informal mining had taken a toll on the state’s revenue profile, but that the ministry of Solid Mineral was however poised to checking their activities as it had grouped the illegal operators into several Cooperative Societies through which their activities will be streamlined in other to boost the GDP of the state.

 

 

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