By Newsie Events Media:
The House of Representatives has mandated the federal government to establish a China Clay Processing Factory in Oruk Anam local government area of Akwa Ibom State in order to further diversify the nation’s economy.
The decision was reached during Thursday’s plenary following a motion brought before it by the Deputy Chairman Communications Committee and Member representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency, Rep. Unyime Idem .
After an extensive debate and due consideration of the motion, the House presided over by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to establish a Clay Processing Factory in Oruk Anam.
The House also resolved that the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development through the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency should visit the quarries in Ukpom Edem Inyang village, ascertain the level of resources available, and develop a plan for the harnessing of the resources to help improve the economy.
The House further mandated its Committee on Mines and Steel Development to ensure compliance.
The House expressed concern that section 2 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 vests control of all properties and minerals in Nigeria in the State and prohibits unauthorised exploration or exploitation of minerals. The Act also states that all lands in which minerals have been found in commercial quantities shall from the commencement of the Act be acquired by the Federal Government in accordance with the Land Use Act.
Leading the debate during plenary, Rep Idem informed the House that in 2018, clay ranked 699th in the world greatest traded goods, as it made an aggregate trade of $2.29 Billion while common clay as at 2019 was $17 US dollars per ton; a 6,579.94 Naira equivalent.
The Ukanafun-born lawmaker decried a situation where a revenue generating resource like clay found in commercial quantity in Ukpom Edem Inyang, Oruk Anam LGA, is allowed to waste and at the mercy of trespassers who explore it indiscriminately.
The House urged the Federal Government to take the issue of diversification very serious especially given the dwindling nature of crude oil price in the international market, leaving the economic future of the country uncertain.
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