The Federal Government has reiterated the need for mining companies operating in different communities in the country to keep to the terms made in the signed Community Development Agreement (CDA).
The Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite gave this charge over the weekend at the Opening Ceremony of Tunde Ramos Coal Mines and Commissioning of Mining Equipment by Mosra Enerji in Odele, Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State.
A statement signed by Idowu Jokpeyibo for Director of Press in the ministry quoted the Minister as saying that “CDA is an agreement with the host community wherein a set of project is agreed upon and everyone is bound to follow it for a period of 5 years”.
According to the statement, the minister said that the Federal Government takes Mining Company relationship with host community serious.
He called on Mining Companies to be more responsive to their host communities for peaceful coexistence, adding that apart from projects contained in the CDA, the community should prosper as the mining companies prosper.
Adegbite appreciated the host communities for the cooperation accorded to Mosra Enerji so far as he noted that mining cannot take place without peace and community’s acquiescence. He noted that the mining sector has learnt a lot of lessons from the mistakes of oil and gas sub-sector where the host communities were neglected. He advised Mosra Enerji to “keep on cooperating, keep on working with your host communities”
The Minister implored Mosra Enerji host communities to continue to cooperate with the company as they can only bring good things to them. “It is important to cooperate with them so that the the community prospers as the mining companies prosper and that is the reason for CDA,” he added.
He noted that so many communities are endowed with one or more minerals, but there is need for Mining Companies or investors to bring out the minerals and turn them into wealth. Beyond adherence to CDA, the Minister was of the view that the presence of the mining companies would further expose the communities.
In his words, “ there is what is called ‘know your source’, whatever coming out of here would be stamped as coming from Ankpa and then the whole world knows and put your communities on the world map, that in itself, is a recognition aside from your people that will be employed and engaged in businesses.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Mosra Enerji, Mr Olukayode Ramos said the event marked a remarkable milestone for his organization in their bid to contribute effectively to the Federal Government’s “Coal to Power Program”
Ramos disclosed that the coal mine at full operation would create over 10,000 direct employment and 30,000 indirect employment as he also pledged his company’s commitment to maintaining the best practices in responsible mining.
“We believe that the key to bringing the Nigerian economy into the 21st Century level is the diversification of the economy through development of a sustainable, responsible and law-abiding mining industry”, he further explained.
He said that Mosra Enerji is committed to service and partnership with their host communities through open, inclusive and continuing dialogue and that not only has the company ensured adherence to CDA, but has surpassed the promises made therein including social infrastructure.
Ramos said the company has plan to bring massive development to the host communities; Ankpa and Omala LGA with a proposed construction of a Coal-Fired Power Plant as he appealed for their continuous understanding and cooperation.
He said all hands must be on decks to ensure that Nigeria regain its status as an exporter of coal. This, he believes will increase the mining sector’s contribution to the national GDP, foreign exchange reserves.
The Chairman of Ankpa Local Government, Ibrahim Abagwu in his closing remarks, assured the mining companies operating in the area of adequate security while appealing to them to keep to the promises made in the CDA signed with their host communities.