• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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FG to partner Lagos on geo-data, mining safety investigation


solid-mineralsThe Federal Government says it is prepared to partner the Lagos State government in the area of geological data and geo-chemical investigation in order to realise the state’s aspirations on solid minerals development and safe environment.

Kayode Fayemi, minister of solid minerals development, made the disclosureMonday in Abuja, while receiving Olawale Oluwo, Lagos commissioner for energy and natural resources, who paid him a courtesy visit.

Meanwhile, in a concerted effort towards increasing lending to the solid minerals sector, many Nigerian banks would set up their solid minerals desks before the end of 2016, Kayode Fayemi, the minister of solid minerals development, has said.

Fayemi stated this Monday in Abuja when he received council members of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), led by their president, Gbenga Okunlola, who were on a courtesy visit to his office.

This, according to the minister, is in response plans by the Federal Government to diversify and add value to the economy through solid minerals development.

Aside assisting the state with geological data to determine the specific quality and quantity of its mineral deposits, the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, according to Fayemi, is also prepared to partner the state in the area of environmental impact assessment and remedial against problems arising from mining activities.

The minister said there was no way the country could succeed in its plan to diversify the economy through solid minerals without workable partnerships and collaborations between the Federal Government and the various states in the country.

Lagos State is known with huge mineral deposits, including limestone, silica, as well as sand and clay, especially on the eastern part.

According to Oluwo, preliminary reports of geological assessments conducted in the area have revealed salt-water intrusion, with clean water mixed with salt or alkaline water. This, he said, constitutes a major health challenge to the population.

He further stressed that the geo-chemical investigation of top soil and road dust showed traces of heavy metals and radioactive materials within the Lagos axis, which could be very hazardous if not checked.

“These are the areas we also require collaboration with the federal authorities,” Oluwo said.

Fayemi, in response, said findings and availability of industrial minerals in Lagos could assist the ministry to achieve import substitution, citing cement exportation as an indication of almost self-sufficiency in limestone exploitation.

He said silica and clay are yet to be put to proper use, as these are very important and useful minerals in the pharmaceutical industry

The idea to set up desks in Nigerian banks to exclusively handle matters relating to solid minerals development, he noted, was hatched during a recent meeting with chief executives of the banks, who assured him of immediate action and evidence of positive results on the matter.

Earlier, Okunlola pledged the support of the NMGS to the ministry regarding its present efforts to realise President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to diversify the economy and create jobs through solid minerals.