Permanent Secretary underscores importance of COMEG to extractive industry

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Mrs Oluwatoyin Akinlade (8th from right), flanked by the Registrar/CEO, COMEG, Prof Zacheus Opafunso (7th from Right) and Director, Astisanal and Small Scale Mining, MMSD, Mr Patrick Ojeka (9th from right), during the working visit of the Permanent Secretary to the Head Office of COMEG, on Tuesday, in Abuja.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade has emphasized the importance of the Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG) to the extractive industry. She acknowledged the challenges of the Council and noted that they must be promptly addressed in order to enable the regulatory body execute its functions effectively.

The Permanent Secretary who spoke on Tuesday, during her working visit to the head office of the Council in Abuja, said she realizes that like other agencies, COMEG was grappling with some challenges which include, lack of permanent structure required as the Council’s head office, low publicity profile, low funding, accreditation and program development challenges, stating that the challenges need to be promptly addressed in order to enable the Council deliver on its mandate.

A statement from the Council, signed by the Head, Publicity and Communications, Mrs Bunmi Ojo, quoted the Permanent Secretary as saying that “the challenges are not insurmountable,” assuring that administrative measures and innovative approaches will go a long way to address the issues.

Dr Akinlade, who commended the Management of COMEG for demonstrating great commitment in the face of daunting challenges, urged management and staff of COMEG to remain dedicated, adding that continuous dedication of staff will go a long way to properly stabilize the organisation.

Earlier, the Registrar of the Council, Professor Zacheus Opafunso thanked the Permanent Secretary for her visit and concern. He assured that the Management of COMEG will continue to work together to solve problems confronting it in the discharge of its mandate of regulating the Nigerian extractive industry.

Prof. Opafunso reiterated the challenges of COMEG which he said, was being discussed with the parent ministry – Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, a development he said necessitated the visit of the Permanent Secretary.

The Registrar expressed firm faith that the visit and concern of the Permanent Secretary will facilitate ongoing efforts of government to address the challenges of the council.

The Permanent Secretary was accompanied by the Director, Artisanal and Small Scale Mining, Mr. Patrick Ojeka, the Ag. Director of Special Duties, Mr. Yisau Adepoju and some of her aides.

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