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Abia Govt. to develop solid minerals sector

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The Abia Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr Okey Kanu, has expressed the readiness of the government to develop its solid minerals sector to enhance the economy of the state.

Kanu made this known on Monday during a press briefing on the outcome of the State Executive Council, at the Government House, Umuahia.

He said that about 17 solid minerals had been discovered in the state, adding that the government had resolved to deploy the relevant resources to explore the sector.

Kanu said that the solid minerals sector would play a vital role in boosting the internally-generated revenue of the state, going forward.

He said that the solid minerals sector of the state holds tremendous opportunities for investments and job creation, which would further boost wealth creation in Abia.

“The state government is ready to explore the array of solid minerals the state has been blessed with as a number of them have not been tapped over the years.

“This government is committed to ensuring that solid minerals are tapped.

“The idea is to provide investment opportunities, because we need investors, to provide job opportunities for the people of Abia and boost the state’s revenue base,” Kanu added.

Also, the Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Prof. Joel Ogbonna, said that the Abia government was working in line with the Federal Government’s agenda to transform the solid minerals sector.

Ogbonna said that the solid minerals that could be found in Abia include limestone, kaolin, gypsum, galena, bentonite clay, silica sand, black marble, copper, gold, phosphate, salt, laterite, gravel, lignite, granite, coal and magnetite.

 

“We want to take it a step further to go into appraisal and development to ascertain that the quantity available would be enough to attract investors.

“The Federal Government has made solid minerals a top player in terms of investments and with respect to this has outlined seven solids minerals which include limestone, coal, gold, iron ore, bitumen, lead-zinc and barite.

“When you look at the list, one can see that Abia has the top three,” he said.

The Commissioner for Transport, Mr Sunny Onwuma, said that the government had built a Computerized Vehicle Inspection Centre, aimed at ensuring road worthiness of vehicles in Abia, adding that the center would be inaugurated on Wednesday.

Onwuma said that the decision to build the center was informed by the need to take proactive steps to ensure that all vehicles plying Abia roads are road worthy as this would reduce road accidents in the state.

He said that the safety of the people of Abia was paramount to the government, saying that centre was necessary to encourage vehicle owners to ensure that their vehicles meet all the requirements for use.

Onwuma added that the cost for testing small vehicles for road worthiness at the center costs N1,700, while testing for bigger ones would cost N3,000.

The Commissioner for Works, Mr Otumchere Oti, said that the proposed expansion of Ossah-Express Tower road from four to six lanes was still on course.

Otumchere said that the necessary preparations such as payment of compensation to owners of buildings marked for demolition as a result of the road expansion, getting the road design ready, among others, were in the concluding stages for the take off of the road project.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

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Lassa Fever Kills 150 In Nigeria — NCDC

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According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), 150 people died from Lassa virus in 125 local government areas throughout 27 states in the federation between January and March 2024.

The NCDC reported that the deaths were recorded with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.6% overall from week one to week thirteen, 2024. This is higher than the CFR for the same time in 2023 (17.5%).

In its Lassa Fever Situation Report Epi Week 13, which was released on March 25–31, 2024, the agency revealed that 806 of the 5,295 suspected cases that were recorded were confirmed. Eyes Of Lagos reports,

According to the report, in week 13, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 25 in Epi week 12, 2024 to 15. These cases were reported in Ondo, Bauchi, Plateau and Edo states.

 

In total for 2024, 27 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 125 LGAs, even as 62 percent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states, while 38 percent of cases were reported from 24 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.

Of the 62 percent confirmed cases, the NCDC said Ondo reported 24 percent, Edo 22 percent, and Bauchi 16 percent. The predominant age group affected is 31-40 years (Range: 1 to 98 years, Median Age: 32years), with a male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases of 1:1.

From the report, the number of suspected cases (5,295) increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2023 (4,338).

The agency confirmed that the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Incident Management System has been activated to coordinate response at all levels at the Emergency Operations Centre, EOC.

No new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week 13, the report noted.

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