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Nigerian Government working with mining communities for inclusive development: Minister

Dr. Oladele Alake, Minister for Solid Minerals Development (l) and HRH Ata Matthew Opaluwa, Attah of Igala and President of Kogi State Traditional Rulers Council, in Abuja, FCT Photo: State House

*Dr. Oladele Alake, Minister for Solid Minerals Development, receives in audience HRH Ata Matthew Opaluwa, Attah of Igala and President of Kogi State Traditional Rulers Council, stressing the significance of host communities and traditional rulers in ensuring a conducive environment required for socio-economic development of the grassroots across Nigeria

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals Development, has reaffirmed the significance of host communities and traditional rulers to the conducive environment required for socio-economic development of such host communities in Nigeria.

Dr. Alake stated this while playing host to HRH Ata Matthew Opaluwa, Attah of Igala and President of Kogi State Traditional Rulers Council,  who paid him a courtesy visit in the office, in Abuja, FCT, recently.

The Minister stressed the need for host communities to take ownership of mining activities in their areas, and collaborate with government to ensure efficient mining operations.

Government committed to protecting rights of host communities, says Alake

Segun Tomori, Special Assistant to the Minister of Solid Minerals Development on Media, also said Alake restated the commitment of the Federal Government to protection of rights of communities and ensuring their rights as regards resource mining.

Alake further stated: “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.”

He explained the Nigerian Government is rejigging the security architecture to address contemporary security challenges besetting the sector, and also factoring royalties for communities into every mining operation.”

Illegal miners posing security threats to local communities: Attah of Igala

HRH Ata of Igala, in his remarks during the visit, commended the Minister for Solid Minerals Development on his efforts at repositioning the mining sector in the West African country thus far.

The Royal Father, however, noted that unlicensed miners and those operating without requisite agreement with host communities have remained an albatross, posing security challenges to locals.

HRH Opaluwa, therefore, sought the intervention of the Minister in addressing this security challenge.

He equally advocated prominent roles for host communities and paramount rulers to protect the interests of the people.

Dr. Alake, while responding, also assured HRH Opaluwa that the Ministry’s Mines Inspectorate would be strengthened to ascertain authenticity of mining agreements, pledging the inclusion of traditional rulers in signing agreement on behalf of host communities.

Alake noted that in order to ensure the payment of due royalties and protection of community rights, plans are underway to reposition the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) for optimum efficiency in Nigeria.

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