The Delta State government said it has uncovered a whopping sum of N2billion worth of illegal mining deal in Ukwu-Nzu, Obomkpa communities, Aniocha North Local Government area of the state.
Saying that illegal mining activities had continued to thrive in many of the communities across the state, particularly Ozanogogo Ukwu-Nzu and Obomkpa, the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Barr. (Mrs.) Mary Iyashere told our reporter that activities in the illegality perpetrated by excavators, had been source of worries to the state government, disclosing that as part of measures to improve proceeds accruable to the state’s coffers in the face of the dwindling revenue, the state government has embarked on the crackdown of the perpetrators.
She said; “A team of investigators have been contracted to bring to book perpetrators of these illegality, exploiting solid minerals, we have also partners genuine investors to develop the sub-sector and improve the economy” disclosing that the state government under the leadership of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa had commenced the process of making the sub-sector attractive to investors by collating and capturing organization with exploration reconnaissance permits and mining licenses.
According to the commerce and industry commissioner in an interview with our reporter, “the objective of the policy therefore goes beyond merely transforming the state into a major industrial economy that is marked oriented community technological providing the requisite enabling environment that will facilitate easy access to local industrial raw materials for processing”.
She said that efforts were being made to track illegal miners, adding that investigation of unverified deposits was ongoing, and investors were being encouraged to exploit the investment opportunities.
Barr. Iyashere explained that the state government’s mandate for the ministry of commerce and industry, was to formulate and implement programs that would lead to the rapid industrial and commercial growth of the state through mobilization, encouragement and co-operation of the private sector, stressing that the ultimate aim of such efforts was to enable the present administration achieve its vision of prosperity for all Deltans.
She said; “Such partnership with the private sector had yielded proactive results as bidding from some reputable organizations to survive some moribund state owned enterprises that were being considered for instance Kiaka Gas Ltd has received approval to invest in the Bendel Steel Structure (BSSL) with Delta State government retaining the percentage share holding of 20% Steyvister Limited has also secured approval to invest in Bendel Glass Industries”.