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Mining: Benue Signs Agreement With SoundCore Group For Mineral Exploration

The Benue State Government at the weekend signed an agreement with SoundCore Group Nigeria Limited towards exploring the mineral resources of the state to build a formidable economic base.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Barr. Sam Ode, who represented Governor Hyacinth Alia at the event, lamented the inability of past administrations in the state to tap into the sector, saying that Alia’s administration has been able to hunt the best of hands to pilot the development agenda of the state.

He stressed the need to diversify the Nigerian economy away from oil, stressing that “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 mining 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 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 a partnership, saying it will go a long way in helping the state government actualize its dream of lifting the 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 improving 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”.

In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), SoundCore Group Nigeria Limited, Anthony Nwakalor, identified 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”.

In her 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 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”.

Highlighting at 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.

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