By Chukwuemeka Opara
Egu-Ogwu (Ebonyi) Feb. 2, 2021 The Federal Government has said that the artisanal and small scale mining-lead processing plant in Ebonyi will commence operation in June.
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, said this on Tuesday at Egu-Ogwu area of Ohaozara Local Government Area.
Ogah was in the state to inspect the plant’s site donated to the federal government by Ebonyi Government.
The minister said that the multi-million naira project would serve as the artisanal mining processing plant for the South-East.
“Artisanal miners in the zone will process their lead at the centre and use the finished products for a variety of purposes.
“This is one of the President Muhammdu Buhari’s administration’s policies of ensuring that artisanal miners have a place in the country,” he said.
He said that jobs were already being created by the project, with the clearing of the site and more being expected during the construction work and completion of the project.
“The jobs to be created by the project would be in hundreds because the nation’s mining system is characterised by the activities of artisanal miners.
“It will also align with our major policy of miners not taking their raw materials (lead) out but processing them in the country,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, Gov. David Umahi has applauded the minister for the feat he has attained as a young entrepreneur with vast business interests.
Umahi spoke when Ogah paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Abakiliki.
He said: “I agree totally with your assertion that the president is committed to the development of the south-east.
“I agree totally with equity and fairness in federal appointments but if put side by side with development of a place, I will take the latter before the former.
“The developments we have experienced in Ebonyi were due to the president’s intervention because we cannot do much with the federal allocation,” the governor said.
He appealed to the minister to expedite action on the state government’s proposal to his ministry on the president’s initiative to harness the huge salt and limestone granules deposit in the state.