…Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Tells Residents
… Do Not Panic, Everything is Under Control, We are Aware – Ephraim Inyang-Eyen
By Saviour Ekpe
The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Abuja has put on alert residents of Uyo local government area and its environs and cautioned them not to panic as small aircrafts would be hovering around the local government area and its environs August ending and September this year.
According to a press statement from the ministry and signed by the Honourable Minister, Arc. Olamilekan Agegbite indicated that the essence of the aircraft flying around would be to enable the ministry, as part of its mandate develop and generate reliable geological data needed to develop the State’s solid mineral sector as well as promote private investment in mining in the state. The said survey will also help to determine accurate mineral locations in Akwa Ibom State.
The project, which is in partnership with the World Bank will cover nineteen states and one hundred and twelve local government areas in Nigeria, “The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development hereby wishes to notify the general public that the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MINDIVER) Project, a World Bank assisted Project under the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development will embark on an Airborne Geophysical Survey Activity in Nineteen (19) States of the Federation (covering 112 Local Government Areas) to determine accurate mineral locations using the modern-day aeromagnetic mechanism. States to be covered by the survey include Kwara, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Ebonyi. Others are Enugu, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and the FCT”.
It could be recalled that similar surveys have been carried out between 2003 and 2007; 2009 and 2011, the data used for the purpose. The current survey is expected, according to the release, to generate more detailed information, “the survey is similar to the previous ones that took place between 2003 — 2007 and 2009 — 2011, which was conducted over the entire country but remained largely unnoticed by most Nigerians. This current survey is expected to return more detailed and information on the geology and mineral potentials of the country due to improvement in technology and advancement in knowledge”.
On his Facebook page, the Chief of Staff to the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen called on residents of Uyo and its environment not to panic as the state government is fully aware of the exercise. Mr. Inyang-Eyen, the immediate past Commissioner for Works, Akwa Ibom State noted that the team has visited him in his office to intimate the state about the project, “I played host to the Directorate, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development. The team was in Akwa Ibom to intimate us of the about-to-be commenced airborne geophysical surveys to determine accurate mineral locations in our State”.
In a similar vein, the Executive Chairman of Uyo local government area, Dr. Uwemedimo Udo has called on residents of Uyo to remain calm as the noise of the aircraft would be loud enough due to the low altitude. The chairman said this in a press release issued and signed by the Media Aide to the Executive Chairman, Mrs. Itoro-Etas Iniobong and made available to Century Newsfront. The statement reads, “the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in conjunction with Messrs Xcalibur Airborne Geophysics Group will conduct a Survey in Uyo LGA. The survey, which will require the use of small aircrafts that will fly in straight lines and repeated circles at a relatively low altitude of 50-70m, will run from the ending of August to September 2021. There would be series of loud noise from the aircrafts due to the low flying altitude or pattern of movement within this period. The members of the public are not to panic should they notice such scenarios around their environment”.