CSO Urges FG To Tackle Illegal Mining In FCT
By Abdullahi Ahmad Bamalli
Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has called on the Federal Government to tackle illegal mining in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Executive Director of the civil society organisation, Ms Faith Nwadishi made the call during a town hall meeting organised by the CTA.
It was reported that the meeting was on “Community Development Agreement (CDA) and validation of the report of the scoping study on the impact of mining on the Original Inhabitants (OI) of the FCT.
The study was carried out by CTA with the support of Macarthur Foundation through the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED).
In her remarks, Nwadishi decried that the damaging effects of mining, especially quarrying by some companies had left communities devastated, means of livelihood destroyed, cultural sites desecrated, and the people dejected.
The executive director said that the scoping study would help the communities, mining companies and the government to further understand the challenges associated with mining and how the communities would benefit from the natural resources on their soil.
“From the respondents’ feedback, it showed that some of the important sites of the inhabitants have been destroyed by mining and infrastructural development activities such as in Kubwa district where their grave sites have been converted to an ultra-modern market now called Maitama market.”
She called on the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to do more to assist communities in the FCT negotiate agreements with mining operators.
Also speaking, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite said that the community development agreement in the sector was to ensure that the mining communities were carried along by the mining operators.
Adegbite was represented by Dr Vivian Okono, Director Mines and Environmental Compliance Department.
He said that CDA was enshrined in the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act (NMMA), 2007 to make agreements between the Mineral Title Holders and the Mining Communities mandatory.
On his part, Esu Bwari, Dr Ibrahim Yaro said that aside from illegal mining, quarry activities were also a hazard to the people in the community.
The Esu who was represented by Bwari Youth Leader, John Awoyi also said that a lot of residents in the area were displaced by mining activities.
Yaro, however, appealed to CTA to add its scope of intervention on quarry activities which has affected the communities.
Also speaking, Executive Director CHRICED, Ibrahim Zikirullahi reiterates their commitment to supporting partners and communities to realise their goals of improving the livelihood of the indigenes of the FCT.
Zikirullahi was represented by CHRICED’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Jaafar Abubakar.
He said that the organisation would ensure that the government tackles the mining-related issues confronting the people of the FCT.