The Ministry of Solid
Minerals Development, Cross River, has called on mining, milling and processing companies in the state to comply with the ongoing registration aimed at regulating mining activities in the state.
The Commissioner for Solid Minerals Development, Mr George O’Ben-Etchi, represented by Dr Gabriel Akpeke, Director of Operations in the Ministry, said this at a meeting with stakeholders in Biase Local Government Area.
Those at the meeting included the Clan Heads, Chiefs of Utoma-Umon and representatives of MESSRS AFRICAN QUARRIES in Biase Local Government Area.
O’Ben-Etchi said that the ministry was set to ensure proper coordination, monitoring, regulation, documentation and generation of a comprehensive database of mining activities in the state.
According to him, the exercise will be done in line with the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007 and the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Regulations 2011.
He also expressed dismay at the operations of mining companies in the state.
“Some of these companies sometimes explore and exploit, to the detriment of the state and their host communities; hence, it is necessary that this registration takes place.
“It will not only help to regulate the activities of miners but also help the ministry to know the number of companies operating in the state.
“It will also guide the host communities on their rights
“The registration will also foster a healthy working relationship among the government, the host communities and investors,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mrs Agnes Ugor, a Principal Environment Health Superintendent in the ministry, stressed the need for mining companies to ensure environmental protection.
According to her, this will ensure that the future generations do not suffer from environmental degradation caused by poor mining activities carried out in the present.
The Clan Head of Utoma-Umon Community, Bassey Effiong, commended the state government for its drive towards restructuring the solid minerals sector in the state.
The clan head promised to ensure that no mining company operated in the area without proper clearance from the ministry.
Also, Mr Agbebia Ashindoitiang, Project Manager, Emmol Drilling Ltd,. who represented MESSRS AFRICAN QUARRIES applauded the ministry for the notice and pledged their readiness to collaborate to achieve success.
Police Kill Five Suspected Kidnappers, Rescue Victim
Police operatives in Edo State have rescued one Innocent Achebe, 38, from a kidnappers den, killing five suspects in the process.
Achebe was rescued on Sunday in Ughosi-Afe bush in Ibilo, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the State, where the victim was held in captivity for days.
This is contained in a statement by Deputy Public Relations Officer, Edo Police Command, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, on Monday in Benin.
She said that the operation was part od the command’s commitment to rid the state of violent crime, including kidnapping.
“This feat was achieved following credible information at the command’s disposal that hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers were operating in Ughoshi- Afe bush, Ibillo in Akoko Edo LGA, Edo State.
“On receipt of the information, the command immediately mobilised its tactical team of operatives from the Ibillo sector in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters to the scene.
“The kidnappers on sighting the operatives opened fire on them which led to a gun duel that left five of the kidnappers fatally injured and were later confirmed dead,” Iwegbu said.
She added that the victim, who was rescued unhurt, had been reunited with his family.
The police spokesperson said two locally made pistols, charms and cartridges were recovered from the scene.
Iwegbu said the Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, commended the gallantry exhibited by the operatives and pledged that the command would work with relevant stakeholders and law-abiding citizens to secure the State.
Bayelsa Spends N3.52bn On Debt Service
Bayelsa State Government said it spent N3.52 billion on servicing its loan obligations to commercial banks for the month of May.
The Tide’s source reports that domestic debt stock data from the Debt Management Office for Bayelsa as of March 31, stood at N151.41 billion.
Technical Adviser to Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on Treasury Matters, Mr Timipre Seipulo, stated this while giving an update of the state’s income and expenditure profile for the months of May and June in Yenagoa.
According to the financial highlights, the state generated some N1.68 billion from internal sources in addition to a gross inflow of N22.86 billion from the federation account to make a total of N22.91 billion for May.
Of the amount, derivation revenue, a 13 per cent of value of crude oil produced within the state for May stood at N17.82 billion.
On the other hand, non oil revenue of N124.69 million accrued to the state for the month under review.
According to Seipulo, the state’s wage bill for civil servants and political appointees gulped N6.2 billion.
For the month of June, Bayelsa got N18.67 billion after deductions at source from the federation account.
Oil derivation accounted for N14.02 billion, while the internally generated revenue was N1.99 million.
The total wage bill for the month of June was N6.14 billion.
Delta Seals Gas Plant Over Student’s Death
The Delta Government sealed a gas plant over outbreak of seizure leading to the death of a student in a close-by school.
The gas plant closure followed the report of an emergency committee, comprising representatives of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, officials of the Ministry of Health and the management of Mary Mount College.
It was recalled that on July 16, 10 students of Mary Mount College, near Handeskia Gas Plant in Boji-Boji, Agbor, were suspected to have showed signs of strange ailments and seizure due to gas emission.
One of the affected students died few weeks after her parents took her to the hospital.
Mr Godspower Asiuwhu, the state Commissioner for Environment, warned the gas company that stiffer sanctions would be meted on it, if the seal was broken.
“The activities of the company has posed ecological and health threat to students of Mary Mount College, Agbor, situated in the environs.
“The management of Handeskia Oil and Gas should desist from causing havoc to residents of the host community,” Asiuwhu said.
The commissioner frowned at the unruly behaviour of staff of the gas company, saying that the state government would not condone any attempt by the company to unseal the premises.
According to him, a task force will be set up to monitor activities of the gas company after it had been sealed to ensure they did not return back to business.
Also, Mr Victor Ebonka, the Chairman, Ika North East Local Government Area, said the council had earlier sealed the gas company twice, adding that they later went back to unseal the premises.
“Since the activities carried out by the company were endangering the lives of residents, there is every need to seal the gas company and put a stop to all their activities,” Ebonka said.
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