By Dennis Udoma, Senior Correspondent, Uyo
An environmental consultant in Akwa Ibom, De – Mbarukas Limited has appealed to the federal government to license the indigenous miners in the country saying, it would help in managing the environmental defects occasioned by exploitation of land-based resources.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Joseph Akpan disclosed this to newsmen at an interaction in Uyo on Tuesday.
He said, the support to deepen the mining of natural resources in Nigeria’s coastal waters would be to the economic advantage of the government.
Mr Akpan said, his firm was poised to bring its decades of experience in the mining sector to bear in ensuring that, the country harnesses the opportunities offered by the mineral resources in sustainable and environmentally manner.
According to Mr Akpan, “in recent times, the domestic mining industry is considered to be underdeveloped, leading to Nigeria having to import minerals like salt and iron ore that she can produce locally’’.
He observed that, since mining activities affected the environment; the soil friendly structure, the general make-up of the eco-system, the utilization of flared gas and sunlight along the shorelines would be economically sustainable.
The Chief Executive, called on the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to take advantage of the 130km shoreline in the South-South particularly, Akwa Ibom State, to aid the production of common salt and other mineral resources explaining that, apart from sodium chloride, there are other chemicals in the ocean that could also be extracted in commercial quantity.
He explained that, the cost of salt production could be cheaper, as long as the Ministry would be ready and willing to put necessary infrastructure in place to enable local miners thrive in regions where energy, gas flaring or natural sunlight is abundant.