Again, FGN urges mining sector investors to carry host communities along

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Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite

Again, FGN urges mining sector investors to carry host communities along

Story from Abah ADAH, Abuja

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has again appealed to entities investing in her resourceful mining sector in different communities in the country to be alive to their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSP) and keep to the terms made in the signed Community Development Agreement (CDA).

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, gave the charge over the weekend at the opening ceremony of Tunde Ramos Coal Mines and commissioning of mining equipment by Mosra Enerji in Odele, Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, a statement from the press and public relations directorate of ministry said.

He said that the federal government takes mining companies’ relationship with their host communities serious, adding, “It is an agreement with the host community wherein a set of project is agreed upon and everyone is bound to follow it for a period of 5 years”.

He called on mining companies operating in the country to be more responsive to their host communities for peaceful coexistence and smooth operation.

Neptune Prime reports that the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, during his facility tour of BUA Cement, Okpella, Edo State as part of activities marking his 3-day Working visit to the state recently, urged operators in the mining subsector of the economy to take community relations very seriously for increased output.

Appreciating the host communities for the cooperation accorded to Mosra Enerji, Adegbite noted that beyond the terms contained in the CDA, the community should prosper as the mining companies prosper.

He said the ministry had learnt a lot of lessons from the mistakes of oil and gas sub-sector where the host communities were neglected, advising Mosra Enerji to “keep on cooperating, keep on working with your host communities”, even as the Minister implored Mosra Enerji host communities to continue to cooperate with the company.

“It is important to cooperate with them so that the the community prospers as the mining companies prosper and that is the reason for CDA,” he added.

He noted that so many communities are endowed with one or more minerals, but there is need for mining companies or investors to bring out the minerals and turn them into wealth. Beyond adherence to CDA, the minister was of the view that the presence of the mining companies would further expose the communities.

In his words, “ there is what is called ‘know your source’, whatever coming out of here would be stamped as coming from Ankpa and then the whole world knows and put your communities on the world map, that in itself, is a recognition aside from your people that will be employed and engaged in businesses.”

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Mosra Enerji, Mr Olukayode Ramos said the event marked a remarkable milestone for his organisation in their bid to contribute effectively to the federal government’s “Coal to Power Programme”.

Ramos disclosed that the coal mine at full operation would create over 10,000 direct employment and 30,000 indirect employment as he also pledged his company’s commitment to maintaining the best practices in responsible mining.

“We believe that the key to bringing the Nigerian economy into the 21st Century level is the diversification of the economy through development of a sustainable, responsible and law-abiding mining industry”, he said.

He said that Mosra Enerji is committed to service and partnership with their host communities through open, inclusive and continuing dialogue and that not only has the company ensured adherence to CDA, but has surpassed the promises made therein including social infrastructure.

Ramos said the company has plan to bring massive development to the host communities; Ankpa and Omala LGA with a proposed construction of a Coal-Fired Power Plant as he appealed for their continuous understanding and cooperation.

He said all hands must be on deck to ensure that Nigeria regain its status as an exporter of coal, saying that would increase the mining sector’s contribution to the national GDP, foreign exchange reserves.

The Chairman of Ankpa Local Government, Ibrahim Abagwu in his closing remarks, assured the mining companies operating in the area of adequate security while appealing to them to keep to the promises made in the CDA signed with their host communities.

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