By: Achiane Adams, CRS-MOI Officer reporting from Ministry of Solid Minerals Development

In the bid to ensuring continuous growth and stability in the sand mining sector of the State, the Cross River State Commissioner for Solid Minerals Development, Rt. Hon. George O'Ben-Etchi, has tasked Stakeholders  to establish healthy synergies among themselves at a meeting held in Calabar, with members of the newly appointed Sand Mining Committee and Cross River State Sand Miners Association.

Rt. Hon. O'Ben-Etchi, who was represented by the Director of Accounts, Mr. Moses Unaji, emphasized that the tripartite relationship should not break down as the activities associated with sand mining like other minerals,are very delicate and as such, Stakeholders must always be open and transparent in their activities and should always be ready to have round table discussions when challenges arise.

The Commissioner, while congratulating the Committee members on their well deserved appointment, wished them the best as they carry out their duties as assigned by the State Governor, Senator (Prof.) Ben Ayade.

He also thanked the Cross River State Sand Miners Association for the progressive co-operation between the association and the Ministry over the years and hoped that they will extend similar support to the the Sand Mining Committee.

The Secretary, Sand Mining Committee, Mr. Item Ojong Edward, in his remarks at the event   thanked the Commissioner for scheduling the familiarization meeting between the Committee and the Sand Miners Association, adding that the Committee will not make changes but will work with the already stipulated law regulating revenue generating activities in the sector.

Also speaking, the Chairman,Cross River State Sand Miners Association, Elder Ekpenyong Bassey, appreciated the Ministry and congratulated the appointees while promising to take word on the new development, back to an enlarged State Executtive Council,  the Central and Northern wings of the Association as only the South could honour the invitation at such short notice.

Elder Bassey also used the opportunity to commend the State Governor for thinking about the sand industry and to humbly remind him of his campaign promises made to the Association on a land for the Association's Secretariat and political appointments for its members.

Giving the vote of thanks, the South Zonal Secretary, Sand Miners Association and the State Public Relations Officer, Cross River State Sand Miners Association, Mr. Odu John Odu, prayed for peace and advancement in the sector.   

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