The Federal Government has on Friday hinted about plans to take over the salt development project in Ebonyi State with a view to making it a major revenue-earner.
It said the plan was to turn the salt deposits in the state into commercial quantity and make it to contribute to the growth of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
The Minister of State Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, disclosed this when he paid a visit to the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, during which he also inspected some of the salt lakes in the state.
He described Ebonyi as one of the forerunners in terms of solid minerals with great potential for economic transformation of the country.
Ogah, who pointed out that the project would be handled under the Presidential Initiative on Development of Salts, added that consultants had already been brought into the state to look at how its salt deposits could be developed.
He said, “There is a Federal Government project which is called Presidential Initiative on Development of Salt in Ebonyi State and we have brought consultants to look at how they can develop the salt project.”
He added that the project would be “driven by the Ebonyi State governor.”
The minister noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had overwhelming love for the South-East, hence his directive that the initiative should kick-start the development of the region.
“We are here to seek collaboration with the governor in terms of optimisation of our revenue, working closely with the state government to see how we can increase the revenue of the Federal Government through royalty.
“Ebonyi being one of the forerunners in terms of solid mineral, we believe that there is great potential in this state that we can benefit in line with the objective of our President in diversifying the economy of the nation through agriculture and mining.”
Receiving the minister, Umahi applauded President Buhari for the salt development project, describing Ebonyi as a state with great solid mineral potential.