* Says Mineral Title Holders must obey laid down rules
The Chairman, Kogi State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), Hajiya Hassiat Ozavize Suleiman on Thursday, charged all Mining Operators and Stakeholders to operate with utmost decorum and conduct their businesses according to the law as enshrined in the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to a statement made available to our correspondent, the Chairman gave the charge during an arbitration meeting held to mediate between representatives of a coal mining title holder and its host community of Inele-Imane in Olamaboro LGA of Kogi State.
The meeting became necessary following a petition brought before a mineral title holder by the host community alleging unruly conduct on the part of the mineral title holder.
According to the statement, which was signed by Hamza Yaqub, Media Representative of Kogi MIREMCO, the community alleged that they were coerced into signing a phony Community Development Agreement, and were then denied a copy of said agreement.
They also stated that the company neglected them, stating that cordial relationship between both parties was practically non-existent while still engaging in mining activities on their land.
Kogi State MIREMCO, upon receipt of the petition, invited both parties for arbitration, wherein both parties were asked to come along with documents that are relevant to the subject matter.
“This the Operator flouted by not only failing to appear with relevant documents for the committee’s perusal but also sent a company representative who had no influence in the company’s decision making,” he said.
Hajiya Suleiman in her remarks, chided the company for undermining the Committee.
She reminded attendees of the duties, powers and functions of MIREMCO, stating that it is a constituted authority established by law to be the eye of the Federal Government in matters concerning mining in the state. She therefore noted that the body has the mandate to wade into disagreements with the aim of peaceful and amicable resolutions.
The Committee resolved to contact the company’s upper management while pleading the indulgence of the Community to exercise patience and trust in the arbitration process.