Abia State Government says it is ready to partner the Federal Government and other stakeholders in the Solid Minerals Sector in a bid to explore, exploit and develop the sector in other to enhance the economy of the state.
The State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu stated this during a courtesy visit by a delegation from the Revenue and Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Abuja, at the Government House, Umuahia.
The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Sir Udo Oko Chukwu, pointed out that the state is blessed with over 35 solid Mineral deposits that would save the state from over dependence on oil revenue.
According to him, some of the solid Mineral deposits in the state include quality sharp sand at Azumini Blue River, Ukwa East Local Government Area that informed the citing of the international glass industry at Aba, Kaolin Deposit,Umuahia North and South, and Lime Stones in Abia North, among others.
Governor Ikpeazu disclosed that the state government intends to involve private miners of solid minerals in the state.
While thanking the delegation for their insight on the potentials accruable from the natural resources in the state,the Governor said the state will apply for mining license from the Federal Government to boost the economy of the state.
The Federal Commissioner and Leader of the delegation, Dr. Casmir Anyanwu, said they were on a nationwide monitoring exercise on Royalty collections and activities of miners at the state and local government levels from 2009-2015. He noted that they were also in the state to enlighten the people on the need to embrace the economic diversification move of the Federal Government in areas of agriculture, solid minerals and natural resources to increase the nation's and states revenue drive.
Anyanwu revealed that Abia came second after Ebonyi in generation of revenue from solid minerals in the Southeast, and congratulated the state government for constituting a committee to explore the activities of miners in the state, as part of economic diversification.