As part of moves to ensure full exploration and development of mineral deposits in Ekiti State, the State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji has solicited collaboration with the Ministry of Solid Minerals on how to make economic gains of the mineral deposits in the state.
Governor Oyebanji disclosed this during a visit to the Miniter of Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake, explained that the collaboration become imperative in order to advance economic development of the state through its abundant mineral resources.
He said the visit to the Ministry was also to congratulate the Ekiti born Minister on his appointment as Honourable Minister in charge of Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals.
He expressed his administration’s readiness to key into the Federal Government’s agenda in the mining and mineral sector with a view to helping the state explore its endowed mineral deposits to enhance wealth and job creation.
Oyebanji said “this is a win win collaboration, it is in the interest of any discerning state that wants to develop . Such a state must key into this vision; because in this vision, I see alot of opportunities for the sub nationals.
“For us in Ekiti, we would like to develop our abundant mineral resources, diversify the economy, enhance growth and development as well as create job opportunities for our teeming youth population. This is next to oil and we are open for partnership.” He said
Responding, the Ikoro Ekiti born Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake said Ekiti, with its endowment in solid minerals is one of the states the federal ministry is focusing on in ensuring that mineral potentials make impact to economic development of both the state and country.
According to Alake, “they said charity begins at home, even though this is a federal appointment and the entire Nigeria is our canvass, but then we all come from one host community or the other; I am from Ikoro Ekiti, a bonafide and fully blooded.”.
“And Ekiti is endowed with lots of natural resources, solid minerals as well. Even on the streets of Ekiti without digging, you will see alot of shinning metals which shows that even the cost of exploration and extraction is so highly competitive in Ekiti..So Ekiti is one of the areas we are focusing on in terms of ensuring that the solid minerals sector make an impact and contribute significantly to the GDP of the country and Ekiti will benefit from this.”
Governor Oyebanji was also at the Office of the Minister of Environment, Balarabe Abbas Lawal on a courtesy visit.
The Ekiti State helmsman who described the new minister as a long time friend, said the visit was to congratulate him and wish him well on the tasks ahead.
He assured of the collaboration of Ekiti State Government with the ministry for environmental safety.
Oyebanji said, “I am here just to congratulate him, I’m so excited on his appointment. We were SSG same time and in our forum, we became very close and we’ve being with each other since then so I must thank Mr President for this appointment because he’s round peg in around hole.”
The Minister of Environment, Mr Lawal who said he was aware of the erosion problems and other environmental issues ravaging some of the parts promised to visit the Ekiti state soon with an assurance that the problems would be addressed.
Balarabe said “Its a big honour that Mr Governor is here to see me. We were once Secretary to the State Government and he’s now the Governor of Ekiti State.”
“I have been here for just a month and I know I have seen a lot from Ekiti state in terms on the issues of erosion and the rest of it. Whatever Ekitii state requires, I will do it infact I have promised to visit the state and see it for myself.”
The Ekiti State Governor also had a closed door meeting with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, where he discussed some ecological issues affecting the state with the SGF, whose office superintend on ecological fund.