Ondo State government sets to begin exploitation of its bitumen resource, which the state boasts of one of the largest deposits in the world. This development was made known by the state’s Commissioner of Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade while briefing newsmen in Akure yesterday.
Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said the Mimiko led administration secured the license to exploit the commodity through BEECON Nigeria Limited, a concern where the government has near complete ownership.
He added that the government has initially signed a Memorandum of Understanding with an American company, Liquefied Resources and it is also expected to sign a Joint Operating Agreement with the same outfit for the immediate exploitation of bitumen.
The Commissioner informed that officials of Liquefied Resources led by its President, Thomas Cooley are already in the country as they are expected to meet with the government and finalise all arrangements about the Joint Operating Agreement.
As part of the visit, the officials would visit the proposed sites and also set a date for take off of the bitumen extraction and upgrading plant.
Registering what is projected to be the impact of the development on the state, Akinmade mentioned that the exploitation of the commodity will generate massive employment which he said will be a consolidation on the jobs being provided for the youth in the state through Agriculture, a sector government has concentrated upon in recent time as its own reaction to the clear need for economic diversification.
Stressing the capability of government to solve youth unemployment challenges through the bitumen exploitation project as well as its ongoing job creation initiatives through Agriculture, Akinmade offered that the Ondo bitumen comes up accompanying crude oil which will in no small measure affect the economy of the state positively.