The Governor of Ekiti, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has called on the Federal Government to find ways around current constitutional limitations and legacy challenges in the mining industry to ensure grassroots stakeholders participation.
Fayemi made the call at the maiden edition of the Ministry’s strategic engagement with the 774 Local Government Council Chairman and other key Mining Stakeholders on Thursday in Abuja.
The virtual conference, has the theme, “Sustainable Mining in Nigeria: The critical Role of Local Governments for the Realisation of Economic Diversification Agenda Through the Mineral Sector”.
He said that in keeping with the provisions of the mining roadmap, grassroots stakeholders should be well positioned to benefit optimally from mining activities going on in their respective communities.
“The grassroots are the ones we must empower to help in eradicating exploitative labour practices and gender inequities in the industry, to promote environmental justice and sustainability in mining operations.
“We must ensure safety and security in mining communities in the country, and protect our commonwealth from economic saboteurs, including the generation of employment opportunities, the reduction of poverty, and the promotion of rural economies.
“Local inhabitants of communities at the grassroots should always be the first to benefit from mining activities in their domains.
“Local government leaders and critical stakeholders are key to promoting peace and unity in the country and ensuring harmony between host communities, state governments and the federal authorities, all On the Road to Shared Mining Prosperity,” he said.
According to Fayemi, close to five years into the implementation of the 20-years mining roadmap, it is most gratifying to see how much has been achieved in line with the milestones and targets that are contained therein.
“I am pleased that the same spirit of consultation that midwifed the roadmap, is the same spirit that is driving the implementation.
“The Government of Ekiti State and the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) will continue to work with the ministry to deepen the objective of cooperative federalism and beneficial participation of all stakeholders in the Nigerian mining sector,” he said.
Dr Ochechukwu ogah, Minister of state, Ministry of Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, said the conference was featured to improve on governance among the three tiers of government.
Ogah said that the conference was to enable the three tiers of government to discuss on sustainable mining in Nigeria, peace stability and job creation among others.
The National President, Women in Mining, Hon. Janet Adeyemi expressed displeasure on harassment being encountered by women in mining on the field on a daily basis.
Adeyemi also called on government to empower women in mining with funds, as mining requires adequate funding.
She also called for creation of inter-ministerial committee to address issues affecting mining in general.
Other participants at the conference called for the development of downstream sector, synergy among the three tiers of government , access to funding from different sources, such as CBN, BoI to enable miners operate effectively. (NAN)