Nasarawa: Ministry sensitizes miners on CDA in mining communities
Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has sensitized Mineral Title Holders mining in Nasarawa state on the importance of reaching a Community Development Agreement (CDA) with host communities and abiding by it.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sensitization workshop held in the Keffi local government area of the state on Friday, and was declared open by Dr. Mrs. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry who charged participants to make useful contributions to promoting best practices in the sector.
Akinlade represented by Mrs. Esther Udo, Deputy Director, Mines Environmental Compliance (MEC) Department of the Ministry declared Environmental Degradation and Pollution in Mines sites as the theme of the sensitization workshop.
NAN however reports that despite the theme of the sensitization workshop, what mostly occupied the discussions of the one-day sensitization workshop between organizers and participants was the issue of CDA between miners and host communities where mine sites are located.
Speaking further on the issue in an interview, Udo said the CDA was a mutual agreement between the host communities and miners on what intervention the miner would offer the host community to alleviate the challenges facing host communities.
She explained that aside from degradation, pollution, mine closure, and sustainability of the activity for future generations among other issues, CDA was also harped on to emphasize the importance of having both representatives of host communities and miners build a cordial relationship.
“If there is no peace, if there is no agreement, mining will hardly take place because youths in some places can become restive and take laws into their hands. So we call on miners to adhere strictly to all regulations including adhering to CDA with host communities,” she said.
Udo explained that to avoid conflict between miners and host communities and a situation whereby miners through their activities impoverish a community and leave, the federal government put in place the CDA to ensure that miners contribute to the socio-economic development of the host communities while mining there.
“Looking at what happened in the Niger Delta with regards to oil exploration where the communities were left with nothing and the restiveness that came up.
“The FG put in place the CDA as a regulatory obligation that miners must conclude that agreement with host mining communities before they start operation,” she said.
She added that in reaching the agreement, the host communities will have representatives who will now negotiate what they need as against what the miners can afford thereby leading to a mutual agreement between both parties.
Udo also advocated for miners to always have mine closure plans so that after using a mine site, they can redevelop the site for other uses instead of abandoning it.
Also speaking, Mr. Musa Nasir, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Mine Workers (NUMW), Nasarawa state chapter also described the CDA as a crucial issue that mineral title holders must not procrastinate over to enjoy a peaceful and secure mining experience in communities.
Nasir represented by Engr Ahmed Ibrahim appreciated Governor Abdullahi Sule for his proactive disposition in handling the important issues of security in the state thereby making mining activities feasible in different mining sites across the state.
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He commends the ministry on the efforts to form clusters of cooperative societies in the state to help ensure all mining operations are under control and close supervision and all new entrants into the state should need to register their presence and activities with the union.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives of the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) and other several miners from across the state were in attendance and lauded the ministry for organizing the sensitization workshop.