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Coal Revitalisation: South East  will be biggest beneficiary of Tinubu’s presidency—Onoh

By Guardian Nigeria
14 November 2022   |   10:08 am
The South East spokesman of the Bola Tinubu presidential campaign council, Dr Josef Onoh has revealed that the southeast with it's huge coal deposits will be among the highest beneficiaries of the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s administration from May 29 2023. He listed the 14 Nigeria’s coal-producing states that will benefit from Tinubu's proposed revitalization of…

[FILES] Tinubu. Photo/facebook.com/officialasiwajubat

The South East spokesman of the Bola Tinubu presidential campaign council, Dr Josef Onoh has revealed that the southeast with it’s huge coal deposits will be among the highest beneficiaries of the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s administration from May 29 2023.

He listed the 14 Nigeria’s coal-producing states that will benefit from Tinubu’s proposed revitalization of coal mining including Enugu, Benue, Kogi, Bauchi, Delta, Abia, Plateau, Edo, Kwara, Abia, Ondo, Anambra, Adamawa and Imo states which he said will form core beneficiaries of the Tinubu administration.

Onoh said that the benefits to the states would drive from the proposed revitalization of the coal industry by the Asiwaju administration as clearly listed in his manifesto which has targeted the mining industry as a core growth sub-sector of the Nigeria economy, noting that coal mining in the 14 states would add tremendously to the country’s GDP.

In an interview in Enugu, on Sunday, Onoh stated that the global sales for coal exports from world countries totalled US$122.9 billion in 2021 with Nigeria making no impute in the gross production despite its over 2.8 billion metric tons of coal reserve deposit under Nigeria’s beneath the earth.

He noted that coal was still very much in demand both in Nigeria’s local markets and in the international markets, stating that the worldwide value of coal exports expanded by an average 14.3 percent for all exporting countries since 2017 when overall coal shipments were valued at $107.5 billion.

He said that from 2020 to 2021, the value of exported coal accelerated by 48.7 percent with Australia, Indonesia, Russia, the United States and South Africa as the five biggest exporters of coal that cumulatively shipped 84.5 percent of the total value of coal sold on international markets in 2021.

He regretted that African coal export accounted for only 5.5 percent of the world market while Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Philippines and Netherlands became top world coal producers within the period under review.

He recalled that his late father, His Excellency Dr C. C. Onoh was the first indigenous Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Coal Corporation from 1961 to 1966 and was also on the Board of the Nigeria Railway Corporation; Chairman of the Nigeria Mining Corporation and in 1982 the Chairman of the Associated Ore Mines, hence he has first hand information on the benefits an Asiwaju Tinubu presidency will bring in the area of mining.

He said that with the reactivation of coal mines across the country, such coal states as Kogi would be necessitated to have airports since economic activities that the coal industry generates would require the aviation industry in those states that presently do not have airports.

He noted that coal was the foundation of the Nigeria economy before the discovery of oil, stating that with Tinubu’s business initiatives as practised in Lagos state during his administration as Governor, the coal-producing states will witness tremendous economic developments with corresponding infrastructure development, job and wealth creations which will place Nigeria on the pedestal to compete with 15 major countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of coal during 2021.

He said that Australia took the lead with US$43.9 billion (35.7 percent of total coal exports), Indonesia with $26.5 billion (21.6 percent), Russia: $17.6 billion (14.3 percent), United States, $9.7 billion (7.9 percent); South Africa, $6.08 billion (4.9 percent); Canada $6.05 billion (4.9 percent); Colombia: $4.4 billion (3.6 percent); Mongolia: $1.9 billion (1.5 percent); Mozambique: $1.1 billion (0.9 percent); Kazakhstan: $929 million (0.8 percent); Netherlands: $882.5 million (0.7 percent); Poland: $828 million (0.7 percent); Philippines: $596.4 million (0.5 percent); Mainland China: $419.4 million (0.3 percent); Vietnam: $315.1 million (0.3 percent); which by value, the listed 15 countries shipped 98.6 percent of global coal exports in 2021.

Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing coal exporters from 2020 to 2021 were: Kazakhstan (up 173.4 percent), Vietnam (up 172.6 percent), the Philippines (up 158.1 percent) and the Netherlands (up 101.9 percent).

“This is the real reason, every right-thinking person in the southeast, where coal and other mineral deposits are dominant, and other states with great mining potential should vote for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The limestones in Ebonyi and Kogi states are also part of the mining sector which Tinubu has promised to reactivate to their fullest potentials.

“It is the reactivation of the coal industry that will bring about the full utilization of some amenities such as the Akanu Ibiam International Airport which has remained underutilized despite its recent upgrade. The Enugu economy is still poor, nightlife in the coal city is still poor whereas the state has all it takes to compete with Lagos state, but all that will only be realized if the southeast decides to do away with politics of sentiment, play national politics and vote for Asiwaju in the February 2023 presidential election.

“There is presently no major investment in the southeast and this is an opportunity for the region to grow again, Enugu state in particular will be among the major beneficiaries of the Tinubu victory which is the reason I advise the state to vote for Asiwaju. If exportation of coal resumes in Enugu and other states, it will boast the states’ diversity, attract direct foreign investments and help states like Enugu state grow beyond its present mere civil service state,” Onoh said.