The Abia Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr Okey Kanu, has expressed the readiness of the government to develop its solid minerals sector to enhance the economy of the state.
Kanu made this known on Monday during a press briefing on the outcome of the State Executive Council, at the Government House, Umuahia.
He said that about 17 solid minerals had been discovered in the state, adding that the government had resolved to deploy the relevant resources to explore the sector.
Kanu said that the solid minerals sector would play a vital role in boosting the internally-generated revenue of the state, going forward.\
He said that the solid minerals sector of the state holds tremendous opportunities for investments and job creation, which would further boost wealth creation in Abia.
“The state government is ready to explore the array of solid minerals the state has been blessed with as a number of them have not been tapped over the years.
“This government is committed to ensuring that solid minerals are tapped.
“The idea is to provide investment opportunities, because we need investors, to provide job opportunities for the people of Abia and boost the state’s revenue base,” Kanu added.
Also, the Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Prof. Joel Ogbonna, said that the Abia government was working in line with the Federal Government’s agenda to transform the solid minerals sector.
Ogbonna said that the solid minerals that could be found in Abia include limestone, kaolin, gypsum, galena, bentonite clay, silica sand, black marble, copper, gold, phosphate, salt, laterite, gravel, lignite, granite, coal and magnetite.
“We want to take it a step further to go into appraisal and development to ascertain that the quantity available would be enough to attract investors.
“The Federal Government has made solid minerals a top player in terms of investments and with respect to this has outlined seven solids minerals which include limestone, coal, gold, iron ore, bitumen, lead-zinc and barite.
“When you look at the list, one can see that Abia has the top three,” he said.
The Commissioner for Transport, Mr Sunny Onwuma, said that the government had built a Computerized Vehicle Inspection Centre, aimed at ensuring road worthiness of vehicles in Abia, adding that the center would be inaugurated on Wednesday.
Onwuma said that the decision to build the center was informed by the need to take proactive steps to ensure that all vehicles plying Abia roads are road worthy as this would reduce road accidents in the state.
He said that the safety of the people of Abia was paramount to the government, saying that centre was necessary to encourage vehicle owners to ensure that their vehicles meet all the requirements for use.
Onwuma added that the cost for testing small vehicles for road worthiness at the center costs N1,700, while testing for bigger ones would cost N3,000.
The Commissioner for Works, Mr Otumchere Oti, said that the proposed expansion of Ossah-Express Tower road from four to six lanes was still on course.
Otumchere said that the necessary preparations such as payment of compensation to owners of buildings marked for demolition as a result of the road expansion, getting the road design ready, among others, were in the concluding stages for the take off of the road project. (NAN)