Benue Govt Says N6.5bn Land Administration Complex Ready Dec

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…Expresses Readiness to Work With Investors to Explore Mineral Resources

THE Benue State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Solid Minerals, Mr Bernard Unenge, says work on the state Geographic Information Service (BENGIS) will be completed next month, December 2022.

The commissioner made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi.

He said that work on the N6.5 billion project was started in February 2020 and was meant to provide space for the automated land administration agency in the state.

He described the complex as Gov. Samuel Ortom’s signature project, adding that it would ensure seamless land administration and generate revenue for government.

Unenge explained that apart from the complex, three service points will be established across the state to ease the process of land administration and management.

“We have marked Gboko, Otukpo, and Adikpo to serve as zonal centres so that we can cover the entire state.

“The Adikpo service point is supposed to cater for the people within the zone A, and the Otukpo centre for zone C.

“The one in Gboko is going to be a supporting facility for the main centre, which is going to take care of zone B and the entire state,” he added.

The commissioner said already, the government had engaged a facility manager for the complex to ensure proper maintenance of the property.

“We have employed a facility manager who is an engineer; he started the project from scratch and knows the ICT facilities and the structural components of the project.

“We are hopeful that with him on site we should be able to bring about a plan for the maintenance of the facility.”

Unenge said 80 percent of the staff have been trained to handle the ICT facilities to be deployed for the smooth operation of the geographic information service.

“We are also having training, which 80% have been carried out; we have sent them on seminars that are relevant to their ICT development,” he added.

He explained that the ministry had concluded the mapping of the 23 local government areas of the state, adding that the auto photo would be used to produce land titles.

“We also have the equipment for surveying, mapping, and vehicles, we are hoping that by the time it is implemented we will have more.

“We are also working on revenue generation, we have a small component that is going to work on the revenue generation drive,” the commissioner said.

Unenge thanked the governor for initiating and funding the project.

“He calls this his signature project and has given us enough support.

“When we started people didn’t believe in it, but today you can see the project is about 95% completed.

According to him, the GIS technology will in the long run be used for intelligence gathering to support security agencies in the state.

“Our prayer is that this project will be sustained after this administration, so that whoever is going to come on board will have the same spirit and understanding that we have towards this project,” Unenge said.

Ready to work with investors to explore state’s vast mineral resources

Mr Unenge also told NAN that the state government is committed to working with investors seeking to explore the vast mineral resources in the state, asserting that Benue has almost all mineral resources found anywhere in the country.

“From the investigations we have made, we can confidently tell you that there are huge deposits of various minerals in the state,” Unenge said.

He said although the issue of solid mineral was in the hands of the federal government, the state will work with investors to exploit the resources.

“Benue state is one of the states in this country that is blessed with a lot of mineral potentials.

“We have almost all the minerals that are found in Nigeria, ranging from Barite, Gypsum, Gold, Lead, and precious stones.

“The state is seeking who is going to be able tell us the quantum and quality of minerals we have, so that the documents will be made available to potential investors.

“We are hoping that once we have the consultants on ground and does all that is needed in terms of the type and quality of minerals we have in the state, we should be able to invite investors to come in and invest,” the commissioner added.

Unenge said the government would provide incentives for investors in the solid mineral sector. (NAN)

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