Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi Thursday said the new coal briquettes and stove manufacturing company in the state would churn out products to serve as alternative for cooking, tackle deforestation and promote rural development.
The governor said this in his address at the inauguration of the company in Ankpa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the coal briquettes are to be produced by IMEX Mineral Resources and Processing Company in Ankpa Local Government Area.
The company is a subsidiary of ETA-ZUMA Group West Africa Limited.
Bello said he was impressed that government’s efforts at promoting industrialisation were gradually taking root.
He said the government was prepared to leverage on the state’s given endowment in solid minerals to industrialise the state.
The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Sanusi Yahaya, said the use of briquette stove would discourage deforestation, prevent desertification and help to protect the environment.
According to him, wood is being cut for charcoal but this briquette is cheaper, safer and affordable which will definitely discourage people from cutting down trees for firewood.
“Kogi is a host to Mining companies that are adding value to the state by producing briquettes and creating jobs for our people,
“The government is already sponsoring a bill at the House of Assembly to create an agency that will be involved in solid mineral development, and equally have mineral processing company that will partner with the private sector.
“We are very proud of this investment by IMEX and we want to have more of this kind of company in Kogi where the state’s revenue profile can be enhanced.
“Besides, this will also create job opportunities for our people through the value chain in the aspect of production, packaging, transportation marketing, among others.
“We desire to improve on our raw materials particularly agro- based materials and the solid minerals which the state is highly endowed with.
“We are friendly to investors and waiting for more of them to come to the state to invest’’, Bello said.
The Chairman of the company, Dr Innocent Ezuma, said the briquette stove would serve as alternative source of fuel, tackle deforestation, desertification and unemployment.
He said the technology would also promote the health of the people especially those living in the rural areas.
Ezuma said the company was first of its kind in West Africa, adding that the technology in use could produce a minimum of 2,000 tonnes of briquettes within a month.
The Attah of Igala, Dr Michael Idakwo Ameh-Oboni II, expressed delight on the project, adding that it had capacity to open up the area to real development.
“This project is the first of its kind in Igala nation, the factory has come to our land as a result of a good initiative from a good heart. We will do everything possible to retain the company in our domain.
“I am calling on other wealthy sons and daughters of Igala land to emulate this kind of good gesture for the benefit of our people’’, the monarch said.
NAN reports that the stove is of two types labeled as `Single Core stove’ and Triple Core for family and commercial use respectively.
While the price of the formal pegged at N7, 000, the later is sold for N10, 000.
NAN further reports that the products are powered with10kg (420 pieces) of coal briquettes each.
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