By Titus Atondu, Makurdi
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council NEPC, on Tuesday, expressed readiness to partner with the Benue State government to promote solid minerals development and non-oil exports.
In a bid to achieve this, the Makurdi export Assistance office of NEPC, has carried out product survey exercise in the state which is a core operation of the council for identified products with export potentials for commodity export and solid minerals.
The Trade Advisor/Head, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Makurdi Export Assistance Office for Benue and Nasarawa States, Ben Anani Egon disclosed this during his courtesy visit and presentation of product map to the state commissioner for Lands, Survey and Solid Minerals, Bernard Unenge in Makurdi, Benue State capital.
Anani-Egon maintained that the primary objective of the survey and mapping exercise was to identify mining and solid minerals deposits in Benue and Nasarawa States,adding that with the result of the exercise, a product map was drawn for agro commodity and solid minerals clusters for Benue state
He explained that the Makurdi export office had further carried out series of export training programs via seminars and workshop for registered exporters and relevant stakeholder to improve on business efficiency in the state having identifying several mineral resources in the state.
“As it is the emerging trend in participatory partnership development programs, we have worked and relate directly with the product sector associations in delivering our programs. This is to ensure that the impact of such programs benefit directly the relevant value chain actors.
“Am happy to inform you that we have developed and carried out master class export training programs for Mines and solid minerals development capacity building program… master class. We have also carried Program for the development of solid minerals value-chain for export in Benue state in collaboration with the Benue state chambers of commerce, industries mines and agriculture”, Anani-Egon stressed.
According to him, the objective of the program was to build the capacity of artisan miners and other processors through competence improvement of mining value-chains, thereby integrating artisanal miners into global export markets.
The Trade Advisor/Head of NEPC in the state lamented that there is a major encroachment at the land allocation given to the Council by the Benue state Government located at T.P.S 336, pipe lines, Otukpo with buildings erected at the site and appeal to the commissioner to intervene hence asking the illegal occupants to vacate the site has been a big challenge to the council.
In his remark, the state commissioner for Lands, Survey and Solid Minerals, Bernard Unenge, described the visit as apt and timely, saying NEPC came at a time that the state government is seeking for partnership with relevant agencies of government and other stakeholders to strengthening economic and industrial development of the state in line with the economic blueprint of the present administration of governor Ortom, “our Benue our collective vision”.
He assured that government would take every necessary step to collaborate with NEPC to ensure solid mineral development in the state and promised to immediately look into the encroachment of the NEPC land in Otukpo.