The Federal Government has commenced sensitisation on aeromagnetic survey in six additional states in the country.
The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development confirmed that it has engaged a consultant (Excalibur) to carry out the survey.
Mr Ishaku Kigbu, the Media and Communication Officer, Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project (MinDiver) in the ministry, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Ilorin.
He said the survey was in continuation of the ministry’s quest to improve the availability of geological information and data.
Kigbu explained that the information was to enhance the diversification of the economy through mineral sector development.
”The new carved out areas in selected states include Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Kogi and Edo States in the South West borders and parts of North Central states of Kwara and Kogi. The affected areas also include parts of Edo.
”This task involves the use of specialised aircraft flying at very low altitude to capture magnetic anomalies.
”In Kwara, the aircraft will fly at low altitude to capture geological information and data include Omu’aran in Irepodun LGA, Ifelodun LGA, Edu, Ekiti, Isin and Oke-Ero LGAs.
”In view of this and to quickly mitigate the impact, palpable fears and tension, MinDiver has deployed a team to sensitise affected communities within the affected states,” he explained.
Speaking on the additional Blocks of Geophysical Mapping Survey in Kwara, Kigbu said though the airborne Mapping Survey started in June 2021, the programme which experienced overlaps due to weather conditions and logistical reasons had also progressed well.
”The current sensitisation exercise is to cover additional areas carved out after the initial exercises held in June 2021 and 2022, and further re-sensitise the populace not to panic upon sighting the aircraft.
”The consultant handling the project has achieved over 40 per cent of the data acquisition in the South West parts of Nigeria without any major challenge or social tension; therefore, the exercise remains very safe.
”This renewed effort became necessary due to the extension of the activity to the western border of Nigeria in Ogun and Oyo States and some states like Kwara, Kogi in North Central and some parts of Edo State in the South-South.
”The expanded survey also became necessary to assist the mining sector with accurate information on the mineral potential of the areas following a report on increase in artisanal mining activities around the western border,” he said.
He added that low flights that might be experienced by the people of Kwara, Kogi and Edo states should not be misconstrued.
”It is the continuation of data acquisition in the affected areas around the North Central/Western border.
”The sensitisation is also to assure the people of the states not to panic either as a result of the loud noise of the aircraft due to the low flying altitude or pattern of movement of the aircraft.
”This is because of the current security situation in the country, so that the people of the states do not get misinformed and entertain unnecessary fears that may lead to tension in the states.
”We are in the state for renewed sensitisation since awareness on the expanded survey has not been carried out,” Kigbu stressed. (NAN)