FG Seeks States Support, Partnership For Efficient Exploitation Of Silica Sand, Glass Sand And Clay

The Federal Government is to resuscitate the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (AISCON) for sustainable commercial operations.

The Minister of State Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah revealed this at the Government House in Uyo during his two-day working visit to the State.

Ogah explained that the resuscitate of AISCON will enable the government build a prosperous nation through the diversification of the economy and lift Nigerians out of poverty.

According to him, “The purpose of the visit is to solicit the support and partnership of the Akwa-Ibom state government in ensuring efficient exploitation of huge deposits of silica sand, glass sand and clay that abound in the state.”

Ogah said the exploitation and utilization of the nation’s mineral’s resources would serve as the formidable foundation for industrialization.

The mines minister for state therefore stressed the need for collaboration in the areas of provision of access road to sand dredging sites, maintenance of peace and security in sand dredging communities, ensuring adequate sensitization of the people of Akwa-Ibom State on the constitutional role of the Federal Government.

Other areas of partnership includes improving communication and information sharing between the Ministry and State Government.

Dr Ogah noted that the establishment and sustenance of mutual synergy and partnership will benefit both the Federal Government and the State as it will increase revenue generation for sustainable growth, create employment opportunities and provide economic empowerment of host mining communities.

The minister also stressed that the visit was to sensitise mining operators, host communities and other stakeholders with a view of ensuring that mining activities are conducted in a safe and environmental friendly manner as provided in the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007.

He assured of the Ministry’s continued support to enhance and increase mining activities in the State.

In his remarks, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, appreciated the Federal Government for its resolve to revive the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (AISCON), adding it would increase the revenue generated from the mining sector in the State.

“I will personally monitor the progress of the AISCON project” Gov Udom added.

Also, Governor Udom Emmanuel affirmed that collaboration between the Federal, State and other relevant stakeholders would ensure the smooth running of mining activities as well as increase revenue generation in the State.

Georgina Humphrey/Abuja

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