The 2019 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ebonyi State, Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji, on Sunday, lamented that despite the commercial quantity of 26 solid minerals found in the state, it was yet to benefit from it.
He said that a report released by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) indicated that the state has not been listed among the states that benefit from the solid minerals extraction and revenue.
Ogbuoji expressed his displeasure during the official flag off of his governorship campaign held in the premises of his campaign office at Presco Junction along Enugu/Abakaliki Expressway, Abakaliki.
He regretted that despite the discovery of oil and gas in the Edda and Afikpo axis of the state in 1927, which according to him, was the first oil found in Nigeria, the federal government was yet to list the state as oil producing state.
He, therefore, pledged to make sure that the state benefits maximally from its abundant natural resources if he wins the next year’s governorship poll in the state.
“Ebonyi has at least 26 solid minerals in commercial quantities but not up on the list of states that benefit from the solid minerals extraction and revenue from a NEITI report two weeks ago.
“We have the old NIGERCEM that needs full revival to provide jobs and sustenance for our people. We have trainable and talented young population that needs incentives to grow and raise the status of our collective identity”, he added.
He also promised to pay the New National Minimum wage was approved, improve workers welfare, revitalise the health sector and transform the education sector of the state if elected.
Before heading to his campaign office, the governorship hopeful opened his campaign doors with a special church service at the Assemblies of God Church in New Layout, Abakaliki.
The church service was attended by many chieftains of the party including the former Governor of the state, Chief Martin Elechi; state Chairman, Pastor Eze Nwachukwu; governorship aspirants under the party, National Assembly aspirants among others.
Meanwhile, the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje-led Reconciliation Committee of the party for the state has postponed their sitting to Tuesday next this week and shifted its venue to Abuja.
The State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Chika Nwoba, disclosed this to newsmen.
He clarified that the Kano State Governor, Ganduje, who came to Ogbuoji’s church service only made a brief stopover on his way back as he handled few assignments in the South East.