By Georgina Humphrey
Host communities and traditional rulers have been urged to create a conducive environment required for socio-economic development in the mining sector.
Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake stated this when he hosted the Attah of Igala and President of Kogi State Traditional Rulers Council, Ata Matthew Opaluwa, in Abuja.
He stressed the need for host communities to take ownership of mining activities and collaborate with government to ensure efficient mining operations.
Dr. Alake restated Federal Government’s commitment to protect and ensure the rights of host communities across the country.
“Whatever we can do to ensure a peaceful, operating environment, we will do. We also need the cooperation of locals in partnering with government to ensure better security. If we have peace around mining operations, we will be able to attract more investments in the mining sector”.
“The government, on its part, is rejigging the security architecture to address contemporary security challenges bedeviling the sector and also factoring royalties for communities into every mining operation,” he added.
Dr. Alake, assured Opaluwa that the Ministry’s Mines Inspectorate would be strengthened to ascertain authenticity of mining agreements, promising inclusion of Traditional Rulers in signing agreements on behalf of host communities.
“To ensure the payment of due royalties and protection of community rights, the Minister revealed that plans are underway to reposition the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) for optimum efficiency” The solid minerals Minister stressed.
On his part, the Attah of Igala, Atta Matthew Opaluwa, who noted that unlicensed miners and those operating without requisite agreement with host communities posed security challenges to locals commended the Minister for his efforts in repositioning the mining sector.
He called for the intervention of the Minister in addressing this while also advocating for prominent roles for host communities and paramount rulers to protect the interests of the people.
Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Bukky Alabi
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