The Managing Director, Zeberced Ltd, Mr Adil Adyin Kurt, at the end of a courtesy call on the Hon Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, by the Quarry Owners Association of Nigeria (QOAN) recently, in Abuja, told LEADERSHIP Weekend about the plan to have a robust collaboration with the Federal Government, relevant agencies and the FCTA towards the development of the quarry subsector in Nigeria. ABAH ADAH writes
What is the purpose of this visit to the minister’s office?
As quarry owners, we have just established the Quarry Owners Association. We have come to inform the minister about our association, and also to intimate him about our challenges and how we can work together to improve the quarry subsector. This is what we have shared with the Hon Minister here today.
How has the decision by the minster to suspend all blasting activities after news broke of the recent earth tremor in Abuja affected your business as quarry owners so far?
First of all, it is a process that is continuous. In order words, it is an activity that is meant to go on continuously. So, the suspension directive brought about an abrupt stoppage, and you can be sure that it must have had great impact on our business. But I must say I am happy, as the minister has said that the investigation has almost been completed. I am equally happy that so far, there has been no link between the earth tremor and quarrying activities. You know preliminary findings have shown that the tremor was not as a result of querying activities, as the minster has rightly said.
The minister, in his speech, expressed concern that you people have not been close enough to the ministry to be part of the process, as it ought to be. How do you intend to improve the relationship going forward?
As you are aware, we have just established our quarry owners association. We have had a lot of experience from our country. We know how to develop the sector. We are also planning to collaborate with the ministry and other government agencies and also the FCT on how best to develop the sector. Quarry investment is a very big one. When you invest in it, you are solving very many problems, you are solving the
problem of unemployment among others, and at the same time generating revenue for the government. I know that 90 per cent of the revenue accruing to the ministry is coming from quarry operations; it is a huge amount. So, if you develop it, the government, the citizens and operators stand to gain a lot. But as I have said, we are going to collaborate on this.
From what we have heard, preliminary report has exonerated quarrying activities from being the cause of the recent earth tremor in Abuja. But the minister has said the suspension of blasting would still subsist for a while. Are you satisfied with the minister’s position?
Yes, of course. You know we have been operating in this country for more than 10 years, and we are now going to enter into collaboration so that we can work even closer in the interest of the understanding between us. We are very satisfied, and are hoping that very soon, as he has said, the suspension of blasting would be lifted for our business to resume.
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