Tuesday, September 19, 2023 2:30 pm
By Sam Obinna Ibe/Umuahia.
Abia State Government has said it has commenced a preliminary investigation into claims of the presence of 17 mineral deposits scattered across the three senatorial districts that make up the State.
The Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu, disclosed this Monday evening while briefing journalists on the outcome of this week’s State Executive Council meeting chaired by Governor Alex Chioma Otti.
The information Commissioner who was flanked during the press briefing by his colleagues from the Ministry of Works, Engr. Don Oti, Solid Minerals, Prof. Ogbonna Joel and Sunny Onwuma of the Ministry of Transportation further revealed that the 17 mineral deposits that are endowed across the State will be on display.
He noted that the essence of the State government going into the mineral sector is to attract investors that would develop the exploration of this solid mineral to create employment for the people of the State.
Prince Kanu disclosed that the State Government is carrying out palliative works on the Umuahia – Ikot-Ekpene Federal road to provide the people with a motorable road. He further disclosed that in line with the Light up Abia project, about 36 streets have been lit up in Umuahia while the exercise will be extended to Aba- Owerri Road, Factory Road, MCC, Okigwe and Brass Roads all in Aba. He said all the new roads being constructed in Enyimba City would be accompanied by street lights.
Also, the Commissioner for Petroleum and Minerals Resources, Prof. Joel Ogbonna disclosed that the State Government is ready to explore the array of solid minerals that Abia is blessed with, adding that the government is committed to taping such minerals including gold, kaoline, limestone among others.
He revealed that about 17 solid minerals are available to tap into, maintaining that this would provide investment and job opportunities in addition to boosting the State’s revenue base.
Prof. Ogbonna further stated that the government is at the moment set to go into the appraisal of the quantity of the available solid minerals in the State and confirm whether the minerals are in commercial quantity before the actual exploration.
Professor Ogbonna Joel said before any exploration would commence, a preliminary investigation would have been carried out, an appraisal review that would determine the quantity available before development and exploration.
Joel mentioned Gold, Limestone, Kaoline, Copper Silica sand among other Solid Minerals deposited at different locations of the State.
“What we have done is a preliminary investigation and after that, we will look into how to reach out to these communities where these solid mineral deposits are deposited, you can not enter into somebody’s land and begin to explore, so, we have to engage with the people and discuss before inviting an investors to explore”, he said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Transport, Comrade Sunny Onwuma said that the arrangements have been concluded for the groundbreaking ceremony of Abia State Industrial Park.
He added that before the groundbreaking ceremony, the names of prospective investors will be unveiled to the public