Edo Government said Federal Government’s new policy on Solid minerals was a new vista for the state to boost its revenue profile.
Chairman of the state’s Economic and Strategic Team, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, disclosed this in an interview with Independence in Benin.
He said that previous government’s policy on mineral resources did not only strangulate states but deprived them of millions of dollars in revenue generation because solid mineral was on the exclusive list of the Federal Government.
“I must say that the new solid mineral policy is beginning to make sense unlike before when it was on the exclusive list of the Federal Government, forgetting that these mineral deposits are located in states and communities.
“It became difficult for investors to access these deposits and do business in a secured and comfortable environment.
But, with the new policy, the Federal Government has acknowledged and recognized the importance and roles states can play in solid minerals.
“In spite of the constitutional provision, the Federal Government has come up with a policy that encourages states to go into joint ventures with potential investors and apply for mining licenses,” he said.
Obaseki said that the state government had already keyed into the new policy and was partnering with Dangote Group in the construction of a cement factory.
According to him, Dangote has a limestone construction company in Okpella, in Estako-East Local Government Area.
“We have been able to encourage him to establish a cement plant at Okpella to use the limestone.
“We are comfortable with the current policy and Dangote will on April 11 perform the ground-breaking ceremony,” he said.
Obaseki said that “the plant when fully functional will produce about six million metric tones of cement per annum, with plenty of job opportunities for our people”.