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Ondo Sets to Begin Bitumen Exploitation

The Ondo state government may have recorded a major breakthrough in its quest for economic stability as arrangements have begun for the exploitation of its  Bitumen, being one of the Mineral resources the state has in commercial quantity.

Briefing newsmen on the development in Akure on Sunday,  the state’s Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, said  the state government  has secured the licence to exploit the commodity through Beecon Nigeria limited, a concern where the government has near complete ownership.

He said government  has before now  signed a Memorandum of  Understanding with an American company, Liquefied Resources and its  also  expected to   sign a Joint Operating Agreement with the same outfit for the immediate exploitation of  Bitumen  which the state has in  large deposit on locations that stretches across Ondo -Edo and Ondo -Ogun boundaries .

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 tomorrow ( Tuesday) and finalise all arrangement regarding the Joint Operating Agreement.

As part of the visit, the officials would visit the proposed sites and also set a date for takeoff  of the proposed Bitumen extraction and upgrading plant.

As part of  the agreement, Liquefied Resources is expected to wholly fund  the project, even as the Commissioner insists that there will be exploitation of  Bitumen in the state at no cost to the government,  adding that the Joint Operating Agreement will regulate profit sharing among the handling company and the government.

The government’s spokesperson described the operation as very expensive and more demanding    than exploiting oil, but  mentioned however that Liquefied Resources are capable of handling it, especially with the availability of  new technology at its disposal to handle  such project.

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 of sort  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 apparent need for economy diversification.

Emphasising on the capability of  government to solve  youth unemployment challenge  through the Bitumen exploitation project as well as its  ongoing job creation initiatives through  Agriculture, Akinmade offered, that  the Ondo Bitumen  comes up with accompanying  crude oil which will in no small measure affect the economy of the  state positively.


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