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Ministry sensitises miners to community agreements in mining areas

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Ministry sensitises miners to community agreements in mining areas
The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has sensitised Mineral Title Holders mining in Nasarawa State to the importance of reaching a Community Development Agreements (CDA) with host communities.

The programme was also a about the need to a abide by the agreements in public interest.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Sensitisation workshop held in Keffi Local Government area of the state on Friday.

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It was declared opened by Mrs Oluwatoyin Akinlade, Permanent Secretary of the ministry who charged participants to make useful contributions on promoting best practices in the sector.

Akinlade, represented by Mrs Esther Udo, Deputy Director, Mines Environmental Compliance (MEC) Department of the ministry, declared environmental degradation, pollution in mining sites as the theme of the workshop.

In spite of the theme, what mostly occupied the discussions of the one day event between organizers and participants was the issue of CDA between miners and host communities.

Speaking further on the issue in an interview, Udo said the CDA was a mutual agreement between the host communities and miners on what intervention the miners would offer to the communities to alleviate their challenges.

She explained that aside degradation, pollution, mine closure and sustanability of the activity for future generations among others, CDA was also important to emphasise the presence of both representatives of host communities and miners to build a cordial relationship.

“If there is no peace, if there is no agreement, mining will hardly take place because youths in some places can become restive and take laws into their hands.

So we call on miners to adhere strictly to all regulations, including adhering to CDA with host communities,” she said.

Udo explained that the Federal Government put in place the CDA to avoid conflict between miners and host communities and a situation where miners, through their activities, impoverished a community and left them.

“The Federal Government put in place the CDA to ensure that miners contribute to the socio-economic development of the host communities.

This is “looking at what happened in the Niger Delta with regards to oil exploration where the communities were left with nothing and the restiveness that came up.

She said the CDA was a regulatory obligation that miners must conclude the agreement with host mining communities before they start operation,” she said.

She added that in reaching the agreement, the host communities would have representatives to negotiate what they needed as against what the miners could afford, thereby leading to a mutual agreement between both parties.

Udo also advocated for miners to always have mine closure plans so that after using a mine site, they could redevelop the site for other uses instead of abandoning it.

Also, Mr Musa Nasir, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Mine Workers (NUMW), Nasarawa State chapter, described the CDA as a crucial issue that mineral title holders must not procrastinate over, to enjoy a peaceful and secure mining experience in communities.

Nasir, represented by Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, appreciated Gov. Abdullahi Sule for proactive disposition in handling the important issues of security in the state, making activities feasible in different mining sites across the state.

He commend the ministry for the efforts to form clusters of cooperative societies in the state to ensure mining operations were under control and close supervision while new entrants into the state should register their presence and activities with the union.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that representatives of Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) and others from across the state were in attendance.

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