Rivers state Governor Nyesome Wike have advocated for concerted action on the part of the federal government to revive the Ajaokuta Steel Company saying it would not only create employment for Nigerian youths but also make the nation financially strong.
The governor stated this when he received Minister of State Mines and Steel Development Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah on Monday at the government house in Port Harcourt.
The governor stressed the need for federal and state governments to collaborate to develop the country insisting that it was high time leaders concentrated on good governance to achieve greatness for the country.
Wike who said the emphasis on crude oil has led to the neglect of the exploration of other mineral disclosed the State was ready to partner with the federal government as mineral resources could play a great role in infrastructural development and job creation. “Let us do the right thing for the country to move forward,” he said.
Earlier, Minister of State Mines and Steel Development Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah stated that collaboration between the federal and state government would ensure the orderly and efficient exploitation of huge deposits of silica sand, glass sand and clay which abound in the state for construction purposes and glass manufacture.
He said the federal government has continued to sensitize state governments on the need for synergize to develop the mineral sector for the benefit of Nigerians.
He explained that sensitising mining operators, oil and gas operators as well as mining host communities and other stakeholders would ensure mining activities are conducted in a safe and environmentally friendly manner consistent with the provisions of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007.
He also stated the federal government’s desire to partner with Rivers State in providing enabling environment and administrative support required to boost sand mining investments in the state; ensuring adequate sensitization of the state residents on its constitutional role, improving communication and information sharing between the ministry and state government, joint strategic war against illegal sand dredging as well as continuous support to Rivers State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) to enable it function properly.
The Minister noted that the present level of sand dredging activities in state can be enhanced if the ministry and the state collaborate to support mining investors in the state by providing the enabling environment for sand dredging businesses to thrive.
He further enjoin the state to take advantage of abundant sea salt yet to be explored as it is a state bordering the Atlantic ocean, which is also an area for collaborative development.
He revealed that the ministry would be organizing another workshop for all the 774 local government chairmen to further strengthen and deepen the synergy in developing the solid minerals sector.
The minister had recently visited the Delta state Governor Dr Ifeanyi Okowa on revenue generation optimization in the minerals sector saying that the ministry is determined to actualize its mandate in creating large number of well-paying jobs for Nigerian youth.