From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
As rainy season approaches, the Kogi state government has embarked on numerous environmental projects that would help to mitigate the effects of possible flooding and other ecological disasters in the state.
The projects which are currently ongoing includes massive construction and evacuation of drainages, embankment along rivers in riverine communities and a series of erosion and ecological control measures across the state.
The state commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Sanusi Yahaya disclosed this at the weekly ministerial press briefing to showcase the achievements of various ministries and parastatals under them in the last two years.
The commissioner who lamented the gravity and the havoc caused during the 2012 flooding in the state vowed that the state government will continue to think ahead on the way out to reduce the effects in the event of future occurrence.
The commissioner called on the Federal Government to assist in finding lasting solution to the problem of flooding caused as a result of release of water from dams appealing that government should as a matter of urgency embark on construction of more dams to avert the development.
Yàhaya also told journalists that the state government has concluded plans for it to embark on the exploration of its abundant solid mineral resources stressing that government has already resuscitated its solid minerals processing company and updated its records to that effect.
He said that of the 34 identified solid mineral deposits in the country, 29 of them are found within the shores of Kogi State, hence the need for the government to take part in harnessing them for the overall benefits of the state.
The commissioner lamented that a lot of individuals and companies have over the years been mining mineral resources in the state illegally while the federal government which has the exclusive rights over the solid minerals sector has not given the needed attention to arrest the situation.
“But as it is, we cannot continue to fold our arms. The government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello has approved the resuscitation of the state’s solid mineral processing company.
“We have updated the records and the company is now ready to participate in mining activities in partnership with the private sector because it is a highly capital intensive sector.
“Also, the state executive council set up a committee which my humble self is the secretary to visit all the mining sites and to identify all companies and agencies that utilise solid mineral resources as their raw materials”, he said.
According to him, the committee is also mandated to look into the activities of individuals and companies that are into mining activities in the state to ascertain if they are operating legally or otherwise.