Federal Government has stated that it is prepared to partner the Lagos State government in geological data and geo-chemical investigation in order to realise the state’s aspirations on solid minerals development and safe environment.
Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, stated this when the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Natural resources, Mr Olawale Oluwo, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
Aside assisting the state with geological data to determine the quantity and quality of its minerals deposits, the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, according to Fayemi, is also prepared to assist in the area of environmental impact arising from mining activities.
Fayemi said there is no way the country can succeed in the plan to diversify the economy through solid minerals if there is no partnership and collaboration between Federal Government and the states.
The minister noted that while solid minerals exploitation is exclusive to the federal government, land ownership, in reality, is exclusive to the state governments.
The minister also alerted the Lagos State government to indiscriminate dredging going on in many parts of the state, with its attendant environmental hazards and developmental challenge.
Earlier, the commissioner had disclosed that the state had a huge deposit of minerals like limestone, silica, sand and clay in the eastern part.
Oluwo also said the preliminary reports of geological assessment conducted revealed salt water intrusion of clean water mixed with salt. This, he said, is seen as a major health challenge to the population.
He said the geo-chemical investigation of top soil and road dust showed traces of heavy metal which can be very hazardous if not checked. He also said the most significant one is on reconnaissance investigation which revealed traces of radioactive materials within Lagos axis.
Fayemi said the findings and availability of industrial minerals in Lagos State such as limestone, silica and clay can assist the ministry to achieve import substitution if put to good use, using cement exportation as an indication of almost self-sufficiency in limestone exploitation.
He said silica and clay were yet to be put to proper use as these are important minerals useful in the pharmaceutical sector. He promised that the relevant agencies will verify the quantity of the mineral deposits in response to the state’s request and the overall interest of the country.
Source: National Mirror Nigeria