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Alake condoles with victims of Niger mine collapse, vows to enforce insurance policy for miners

Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals Development (l), at the IBB Specialist Hospital, in Niger State Photo: State House

*Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals Development, in Niger State, reaffirms the Federal Government’s commitment to enforcing insurance policy for mine workers to enhance safety measures and provide relief to miners and their families in the event of accidents

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals Development, has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to enforcing insurance policy for mine workers in Nigeria.

Representing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on a condolence visit to Niger State Governor, Hon. Umar Bago, in Minna, Dr. Alake conveyed the President’s sympathies following the recent mine pit collapse in Galadima Kogo, Shiroro Local Government Area.

Segun Tomori, Special Assistant Minister on Media, in a statement issued Friday, June 7, 2024, noted Alake said: “I bring the condolences and sympathies of Mr. President to the families of victims, those injured, the entire community, and the government and people of Niger state on the mine pit collapse.

“It is unfortunate and avoidable. Though we learned the disaster was due to heavy downpour, we are committed to intensifying the monitoring of mining operations to ensure conformity to environmental standards.”

The Minister also commended the state government for swiftly mobilising emergency rescue operations in collaboration with federal agencies, stressing that all efforts must be made to rescue those still trapped.

However, in order to further enhance safety measures and provide relief to miners and their families in the event of accidents, Dr. Alake declared that insurance policy for miners across the country would be enforced.

He also emphasised the Federal Government’s stance that remediation plans must accompany mining license applications, stating that irresponsible mining operations posing threats to the environment and communities will no longer be tolerated.

Alake stated: “We must also put in place contingency plans to mitigate the impact of natural disasters on mining sites. For instance, making the installation of support pillars under shafts mandatory. This practice is common in other countries.”

Governor Bago expressed gratitude to President Tinubu for the condolence visit and emphasized the need for a concerted effort between the federal government and subnationals to ensure mining companies comply with safety standards.

He advocated the strengthening of collaborative measures to enhance periodic monitoring and evaluation of the environmental impact of mining operations to minimise recurrence of the unfortunate incident.

Citing the preponderance of commercially viable critical minerals in the state, Gov. Bago appealed to the federal government to focus on making the state the pivot of developing the country’s mining sector.

Bago later accompanied the Minister to visit recuperating victims at the IBB Specialist Hospital.

On behalf of President Tinubu, he announced a donation of N50 million to assist affected patients and families, the statement added.

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