Delta State Assembly moves to stop illegal mining activities
• Ports can generate 100,000 direct jobs, says DESA
The Delta State House of Assembly yesterday said it was determined to end illegal mining in Ozanogogo Community, Ika South Local Council of the state and other communities in the area.
The representative of Ika South Constituency in the House, Festus Okoh, who spoke to journalists on the unlawful mining of kaolin in the area, confirmed moves by the Assembly to arrest miners, who engaged in the activity.
He said the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa -led administration was committed to drive development in all parts of the state.
Ozanogogo community and its environs had witnessed increased mining of kaolin, which has resulted in the destruction of crops.
Okoh, who stressed that the miners must do the right thing, urged the people of the community to co-operate with the state government to harness the kaolin potential in the area for collective development.
The lawmaker further disclosed that the state Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim had deployed plain clothed policemen to the areas to bring the illegal miners to book.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Shippers’ Association (DESA) has said that the seaports in the state could generate no fewer than 100,000 direct jobs and one million indirect jobs when they begin full operations.
The group also called on the Federal Government to address the moribund Delta ports and dredge the Warri water channel to enable bigger vessels sail through.
Chairman of the Association, Austin Egbeghadia told journalists in Asaba yesterday that the call became necessary in view of government’s efforts to diversify the economy, adding: “I think a well- thought out policy can assist in addressing the unemployment challenges in the country.
“Several times, we have heard that government has awarded the dredging of the Warri Water Channel, yet it has never been implemented. I think government should be proactive enough to follow the process to its conclusion.”
He attributed the rot in the Delta ports to maladministration and wrongheaded government policies, saying the moment the dredging of the Water Channel is achieved, it would revive business activities at the idle ports and drastically reduce the cost of doing business.
Egbeghada noted that the Delta ports, which comprise Warri, Burutu, Sapele and Koko were strategically locked but their proximity to the Eastern and Northern parts of the country was an advantage over the Lagos ports.
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