State governments may be required to authenticate mining consents issued to miners by host communities in order to sanitize the process and minimize the rancor that had followed its improper handling among communities across the country. “Consent had been abused in some communities because at certain points it is difficult to know who is giving it”.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, reiterated this when he, in the company of the Minister of State, Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, paid a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura, in Lafia on April 3, 2017.
The Minister, who is on the second leg of a nation-wide tour of mining sites and communities, said they were in Nasarawa to examine what is happening to active mines and the abandoned ones with a view to seeing what could be done to reactivate them and strengthen the bonds between miners and the host communities.
He observed that as a naturally endowed State, people were returning to even abandoned sites with tensionsincreasing between investors and host communities as a result of which he said the work that needed to be done required partnership with States where mining actually takes place.
“We are very determined to enforce the provisions of the Mining and minerals Act in support of host communities via the States”, he said.
He reiterated that era of producing and shipping out raw minerals from the country was over and urged miners to be ready to set up processing plants and machinery in the country in order to add value and create jobs.
Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura in his reaction stated that Nasarawa was among three leading States in the vanguard of States that were key to President Mohammadu Buhari’s diversification drive.
“Your visit has given us the impetus to reaffirm that Nasarawa State counts with every Local Government Area having many minerals in them and over seventy different types present in the State as at the last count”, he said.
Governor Almakura welcomed the idea of State certification of consent and promised that they would go to the drawing board and prepare for the time when the proper instruments for its actualization were finalized.
He appealed to the Federal Government to carry Nasarawa State along where policy considerations on mineral resources were concerned and advised that dedicated outfits be provided for the protection of mines and their operators.