By Zacchaeus Ozovehe.
The Chairman of the newly inaugurated Kogi State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) Hajiya Hassiat Ozavize Suleiman has said she will devise veritable approaches to harness the vast natural resources of the state for the benefit of the people especially the teeming youths.
This was made known recently in Lokoja in an inaugural address where she charged other members of the committee to brace up for possible issues that would be encountered in the course of maintaining ecosystem integrity, ensuring environmental protection and sustainability of integrated landscape management.
She further revealed that the committee which would be a reference point to the Minister of Mines and Solid Minerals Development, is constitutionally empowered to discharge advisory roles in exploration and exploitation of natural resources in the state and also work out modalities in solving issues relating to host communities.
While expressing deep regret with lacklustre disposition for mineral resources exploration in the state by successive administrations, Hajiya Hassiat noted that Kogi State has enough coal to supply the whole of the country with electricity for over 400 years and enough Calcium Carbonate to keep 3 mega cement factories afloat for about a hundred years.
She itemised other natural resources the state is blessed with in commercial quantity as Feldspar, Bauxite, Iron ore, Gold, Tar, Quartz, Talc, saying that with the renewed focus of the New Direction administration to harness them, Kogi State will be on a steady economic and infrastructural development.
The philanthropist who showered encomiums on Governor Yahaya Bello for finding them worthy in the quest to revamp mining sector of the state, revealed that the committee would be assessing issues relating to licenses of mineral title holders, legal standing on exploration and exploitation as well as monitoring and regulation of environmental degradation in host communities.
She pledged that issues of compensation to host communities, pollution and environmental degradation as a result of extractive activities would be treated with utmost priority.