The Kogi State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) Chairman, Hajiya Hassiat Ozavize Suleiman has called for adequate security and protection of operators and stakeholders in the Mining Sector.
The charge was made as the MIREMCO boss paid a courtesy visit to the office of the Honourable Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, in a bid to discuss measures to better protect operators and regulatory bodies at the mines and its environs.
The meeting held in light of the latest gunmen attack in Ajaokuta, Kogi state in which about five stakeholders in the state mining sector lost their lives.
Haj. Suleiman lamented the deteriorating security situation in the country, specifically in Mining communities and surrounding villages. In her remarks, she suggested that the existing Mining Task Force set up by the Ministry be better equipped and readily available to be deployed. This, she said, would go a long way to protect field officers across the Nation should they have to embark on site visitations, or field field assignments.
The Chairman closed her remarks with an appeal for funding for her committee, stating that Kogi MIREMCO has not recieved any support in the form of funding from the Ministry since 2019. This, she surmised, had greatly hampered the performance of the Committee.
In his response, Arc. Adegbite commiserated with the families of the investors that were killed by gunmen in Ajaokuta area of Kogi State, and reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to quash insecurity across the country. He said that this extends to the Ministry’s commitment to ensure that mining is conducted under the safest most conducive environment.
The Minister explained that the Mining Task Force has been trying it’s best despite paucity of funds to ensure its optimal performance. He also stated that MIREMCO had not been captured in past budgets but plans were underway to include the committee across the federation in the national budget.
The MIREMCO Chairman also paid calls to the Permanent Secretary, as well as Directors of Artisanal and Small scale Mining and Mines Environmental Compliance departments respectively to cement her discussion with the Minister.
Committee Media Rep.