The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Monday whilst meeting with the new executives of the Edo state chapter of the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) described the direction of ongoing reforms in the solid minerals sector. The suspension of mining activity at burrow pits across the state by his administration, signaled the beginning of a new era in the sector and he declared that the state government would work with the association to revamp the sector.
He also declared his administration’s wish to “work closely with you to help re-certify and build a data base of your members, put formal and formidable structures in place to tackle the challenges in the sector, expand its scope and make mining viable in the State” at the meeting held in the Government House, Benin City. He explained that the decision to suspend sand mining at burrow pits was to check activities that can impact negatively on the environment and cause flooding and mud slides.
“A lot of work needs to be done at the operational and regulatory levels as modalities need to be put in place to have a viable mining industry in the state. We will ensure that the mining laws and practices are right, and that the risks involved are reduced,” he stressed, adding that aside agriculture and the service sectors, mining is one area his administration is looking at critically, to turn around the fortunes of the state.
He noted that the partnership with MAN, would include the introduction of mining in the curriculum of Benin Science and Technical College, to help train workers for the industry.
Earlier, the Chairman of MAN, Engr. Mike Okhumode, commended the governor for what he described as “people-oriented projects” and policies that have brought confidence to people in the state.
He appealed to the governor to lift the suspension on sand mining at burrow pits and assured that members of his association would comply strictly with the new guidelines.