ASABA/Nigeria: Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, on Thursday said the state government was willing to partner the Federal government to develop the solid mineral sector in the state.
Okowa stated this while fielding questions from journalists shortly after receiving Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uche Ogah, who paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Asaba.
He said he was pleased with the minister’s visit and that there was need for a strong collaboration between the Federal Government, the states and the private sector to develop the solid minerals industry.
Okowa noted that if the sector was developed, states and Federal Government would have less revenue challenges as they currently depended on oil minerals alone to develop the country.
Expressing delight with outcome of the visit, he said it had created warm relationship between the Federal Government and the state with regards to solid minerals development.
“Apparently he has given me some briefs and I do know that the appropriate ministries will be made to relate with his office, including my office relating directly with him.
“This is imperative because there is an attempt by the Federal Government to have a structured approach to mining development rather than allowing it to be the way it was in the past years.
“He has already briefed me on what is going on in some states and I have also told him about some actions we are already taking and our attempt to undertake a public-private-partnership in the development of Kaolin in the state while looking into other areas.
“He has reassured that whatever assistance is needed that they are willing to deal with that and we are quite happy with that.
“The honourable minister is paying a visit to a place here in Delta where we have more than 500 persons in employment and its something that should interest everybody, including the state and the Federal Government.
“I must say that we must continue to have a strong partnership between the Federal Government, the states and the private sector because it has to be a combination of this two arms of government with the private sector that can truly help to develop minerals sector the way we expect it to be.
“This is important because until we truly develop it, we will not be having the best of gains and revenue for our country Nigeria,” Okowa stated.
Earlier, the minister had said that he was in Delta to brief the governor on his ministry’s commitment to development of the solid minerals sector.
“I am here today to pay a courtesy call on His Excellency, the Governor of Delta State and acknowledge his wonderful works in the state.
“Most importantly, it’s to ensure collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the Delta State Government to ensure that we leverage on President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to diversify the economy using minerals and agriculture.
“I believe that we have had a very wonderful meeting and I must thank Governor Okowa for his assurance of the collaboration between the Federal Government and the state government,” Ogah said.