The Ondo State in south-western Nigeria is set to commence the mining and exploration of the large deposit of bitumen in its coastal area before the end of this year.Governr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State unveiled the plan on Friday when the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, visited him in Akure, the state capital.
The governor noted that Irele Local Government Area has a huge deposit of bitumen, the largest in Africa and second largest in the world.
The Federal Government had awarded a mining licence to Ondo State Government on July 18, 2017.
The governor disclosed that the equipment for mining was already being shipped into the country, while Southwest Bitumen Company would soon debut.
He also said that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state would be better only when economic activities pick up.
“We are trying and the IGR has improved a little, but it could still be better. We will make the best of what we have.
According to him, the state is a civil service state and that efforts are being made to bring in one or two industries to shore up the IGR.
Earlier, Arkwright said the governorship election scheduled to hold on Saturday in Ekiti State should be free, fair, peaceful, credible and acceptable to all.
Arkwright said that he would lead a large group of observers from the British High Commission in Abuja and Lagos to monitor the exercise.
He urged security agencies to ensure that residents of Ekiti State are protected before, during and after the election.