Why operators must properly integrate host communities – Minister

Arc Olamilekan Adegbite

The Federal Government has called on mining companies in the country to ensure proper integration of host communities, saying that ‘proper integration of host communities in the overall exploration plan by licensed solid minerals companies will address face-off between host communities and mining companies.’

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite who made the call while receiving the management team of African Natural Resources and Mines Limited on Tuesday, in Abuja, said employment of indigenes of host communities will reduce agitations that have become prevalent in communities hosting the mining sites. The minister further charged operators to develop host communities by executing projects that will uplift the peoples standard of living.

Adegbite applauded the management of the company for not losing faith in the nation’s mining sector since 1971 when the company began operations in the country.

He pledged the commitment of the administration to providing enabling environment for serious-minded investors in the minerals and metals sector, noting that the ministry will partner with such investors as government strives towards achieving economic diversification.

Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, in his welcome remarks commended the company for investing in Nigeria, adding that the ministry as a revenue generating organ of the government, will ensure that the right royalties accrued to government are remitted.

Earlier, the team lead and Group Managing Director, Mr.  Alok Gupta, informed the ministers that his company has an investment worth over six hundred million Dollars in Nigeria. He added that the company has eighteen manufacturing industries across Nigeria and has so far employed over eight thousand Nigerians.

A statement from the Public Relations Department of the ministry quoted Gupta as saying that in furtherance of the company’s commitment to the promotion of steel manufacturing in Nigeria, it would cite an iron ore mining plant in Kaduna State, adding that the plant will be able to process over 5.4 million tons of iron ore when fully operational.

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