The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite has emphasized the need for regular monitoring and evaluation of the training process in our tertiary Institutions to ward off quackery in the profession and ensure only those that have been properly trained, monitored and evaluated are allowed to practice.

He made this known during the Presentation of Accreditation Certificates by the Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG); and the updated Geological Maps of Nigeria by NGSA to Institutions offering programmes in the Nigeria Extractive Industry professions, held on Monday 8th of May 2023 at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja.

While applauding COMEG for achieving the milestone of resuscitating the accreditation process, he called on the 19 accredited institutions not rest on their oars but to continue to improve as the education process evolves. He called on the Institutions yet to be visited for accreditation to give the Council their maximum cooperation for the good of the extractive industry and the country at large.

The Chairman of COMEG, Dr. Godspower Ebimotimi Okpoi, in his remarks stated that to improve on the training and education of the extractive Industry professionals, the Council is working on setting up a Committee to review the Nigeria Universities Commission’s (NUC) Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standard Document, so as to align it with that of COMEG requirements and standard. He noted that it is clearly outlined in the COMEG Act, that training comes first before other responsibilities. In his words, “good professional practice can only come out of good education and training.”

Earlier, the Registrar of COMEG, Prof. Zacheus Opafunsho, disclosed that one of the main duties of the Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG), was to “Prescribe and enforce the minimum standard of education and experience to be obtained by persons qualified to practice as Registered Mining Engineers, Geoscientists and other Professionals”. He however, noted that before the coming of this Administration, the last accreditation exercise was done in 2012, 11 years ago.

Prof. Opafunsho revealed that in 2021, 30 programmes in 19 Tertiary Institutions in the South-West, South-East and South-South parts of the country were accredited, noting that they planned to cover the Northern Tertiary Institutions in 2022 but had to suspend the exercise due to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU) strike, which took the better part of 2022.

He congratulated the successfully accredited institutions, nothing that only graduates of programmes accredited by the Council will be registered to practice as Mining Engineers, Geoscientists and other Extractive Industry Professions.

Speaking at the occasion, President of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society, Prof. Akinade Olatunji, stated that it is gratifying to see that the COMEG Board has been active and focused on actualizing its core mandate. He noted that the Board has provided the right atmosphere for the implementation of progressive ideas and initiatives and this, according to him, has made it possible for COMEG activities to be undertaken unimpeded.

He said the renewed effort at regulating the training of professionals in the Extractive industry as envisaged by the accreditation exercise is commendable and timely, as it would halt the

deteriorating quality of instructions and training being received by the students in the various accredited programmes as well as afford the Management of such Institutions the

opportunities to retool where necessary and to facilitate procurement of additional teaching aides and laboratory equipment where such are found insufficient.