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FG to diversify economy through mining sector, says Ogar

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The Federal Government has restated its resolve to use the mining sector as a platform for the diversification of the nation’s economy, in view of the dwindling fortunes of the oil sector.

It also commended Dangote Group of Companies for keying into the diversification project of the present government.

Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogar, disclosed this during an inspection tour of Dangote Cement Factory in Obajana, Kogi State.

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He said that the Federal Government, under the leadership President Muhammadu Buhari, had decided to embark on an aggressive diversification programme in view of the dwindling income from oil, which is no longer enough to sustain the economy.

Ogar said that Dangote’s efforts would go a long way to complement the government’s effort to increase revenue generation and provide employment for the teeming youths.

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“In view of what is happening to oil in the international market, we can no longer rely only on oil as our source of revenue; there is a need to explore other avenues to shore up our earnings and create jobs for our teeming youths,” he said.

Besides, the minister, who stated that the Federal Government had set machinery in motion to criminalise illegal mining activities in the country, said: “Government will no longer fold its arms and allow illegal miners deny her of legitimate earnings that will enhance revenue generation.

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“We are not saying that individuals cannot mine, but we are saying come and legitimise your business by obtaining a proper license and don’t deny us legitimate revenue that would enhance income and provide jobs for our youths.”

He said that he was at the factory to explore areas of collaboration between the Federal Government and the firm with a view to assist it to increase production and enable it to employ more people.

The company’s Executive Director, DVG Edwin, commended the minister for the visit, describing it as first of its kind when a top government official would be visiting the plant, adding that the visit signifies a new beginning in which the company will leverage on.

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