Mining: BNSG signs agreement with SoundCore Group Nigeria Limited
By Bridget Ikyado
The Benue State Government has signed an agreement with SoundCore Group Nigeria Limited towards exploring the mineral resources of the state in order to build a formidable economic base.
Speaking shortly before the agreement was signed, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Barr. Sam Ode, who represented the Executive Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia at the event, said, “Before now, one could not help but wonder whether Benue was really interested in moving forward, but under the leadership of Governor Alia and myself, we have been able to hunt the best of heads to pilot the development agenda of the state”.
Stressing the need to delve into other areas of the economy, the Deputy Governor said, it is an over flogged subject matter talking about the diversification of the Nigerian economy away from oil.
“I think what every state that is serious about the challenges of the future should be thinking about is life outside the oil sector.
“When you are diversifying the Nigerian economy, the two core areas to think about are Agriculture and Minning and so, SoundCore is properly positioned to address that diversification as far as Benue is concerned”, he stated.
The Deputy Governor who noted SoundCore Group Nigeria Limited’s areas of competence as evident in their antecedents said he is left with no iota of doubt that a strategic partnership between the Benue State Government and the organization can produce the anticipated results in the days ahead.
He expressed appreciation to SoundCore Group Nigeria Limited for finding Benue worthy of such partnership saying it will go a long way in helping the state government actualize its dream of lifting Benue people, particularly those in the rural areas out of poverty.
“The Benue State Government is poised to generate economic activities that would touch the lives of Benue people positively towards bettering their lives and positioning them to compete favourably with the rest of the world.
“The objective for the partnership is to come together to explore the solid minerals’ sector and by extension, the agricultural sector,” Ode maintained.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), SoundCore Group Nigeria Limited, Anthony Nwakalor gave the two major areas through which the organization hopes to improve the state’s mining sector to include: The full operationalization of the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee so that the state can get hold of exactly what is going on as far as the solid minerals’ sector is concerned in Benue State as well as to create a Benue State Solid Minerals Development Company such that the state would in short to medium term, not be dependent on federal allocations because the Mineral wealth in Benue should make it possible for the state to even pay allocations to other states in Nigeria.
Earlier in her introductory speech, the Director General, Benue State Bureau of Entrepreneurship and Wealth Creation, Benita Shuluwa, said it was in line with its mandate that the Bureau deemed it necessary to facilitate the partnership between SoundCore Group Nigeria Limited and the Benue State Government.
“SoundCore Group Nigeria Limited has proposed to partner with the Benue State Government to sanitize the mining sector (solid minerals) in the state in two phases to enable us fully and lawfully engage in solid minerals mining activities and close the loopholes that currently exist in the mining sector thereby boosting the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as well as curbing illegal mining activities amongst others”, Shuluwa explained.
A major highlight of the event was the official signing of the agreement documents by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Prof Joseph Alakali and the Attorney General of the State, Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, Barr. Fidelis Mnyim on behalf of the Benue State Government as well as Anthony Nwakalor and the General Manager, Strategy and Business Development, Ogechi Ozigbu on behalf of SoundCore Group Nigeria Limited.