The federal government has reiterated the need for mining companies operating in different communities across the country to abide by the terms of the signed Community Development Agreement (CDA).
Mines and Steel Development Minister Arc Olamilekan Adegbite gave the charge over the weekend during the opening ceremony of the Tunde Ramos Coal Mines and commissioning of equipment mining by Mostra Enerji in Odele, Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Adegbite said the federal government takes the mining company’s relationship with the host community seriously.
Explaining some of the content of the CDA, he said, “it is an agreement with the host community in which a set of projects are agreed upon and each is required to follow it for a period of 5 years”.
He called on mining companies to be more responsive to their host communities for peaceful coexistence. The Minister added that apart from the projects contained in the CDA, the community should prosper as mining companies prosper.
Adegbite appreciated the host communities for the cooperation given to Mostra Enerji as he noted that mining cannot take place without community peace and acquiescence. He noted that the mining sector has learned a lot from the mistakes of the oil and gas sub-sector where host communities have been neglected. He advised Mostra Enerji to “keep cooperating, keep working with your host communities.”
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The Minister implored the host communities of Mostra Enerji to continue cooperating with the company as they can only bring them good things. “It is important to cooperate with them for the community to prosper like the mining companies prosper and that is what CDA exists for,” he added.
He noted that so many communities are endowed with one or more minerals, but there is a need for mining companies or investors to bring out the minerals and turn them into wealth. Beyond CDA membership, the minister was of the view that the presence of mining companies would further expose the communities.
In his words, “there is something called ‘know your source’, everything that comes out of here would be stamped as coming from Ankpa and then the whole world knows and puts your communities on the world map, that in itself is a recognition apart from your people who will be employed and engaged in enterprises.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Managing Director and CEO of Mostra Enerji, Olukayode Ramos, said the event marks a remarkable milestone for his organization in its attempt to effectively contribute to the “Coal to Power” program. of the federal government.
Ramos revealed that the fully operating coal mine will create more than 10,000 direct jobs and 30,000 indirect jobs, as he also pledged his company’s commitment to maintaining best practices in responsible mining.
“We believe that the key to bringing the Nigerian economy up to the level of the 21st century is the diversification of the economy through the development of a sustainable, responsible and law-abiding mining industry,” he explained.
He said Mostra Enerji is committed to serving and building partnerships with their host communities through open, inclusive and ongoing dialogue and not only has the company ensured compliance with the CDA, but exceeded the promises made there, including social infrastructure.
Ramos said the company has a plan to bring massive development to host communities; Ankpa and Omala LGA with the coal fired power plant construction project as it appealed for their continued understanding and cooperation.
He said everyone must be on top of the game to ensure Nigeria regains its status as a coal exporter. This, according to him, will increase the contribution of the mining sector to the national GDP, the foreign exchange reserves.
Ankpa Local Government Chairperson Ibrahim Abagwu in his closing remarks assured mining companies operating in the area of adequate security while calling on them to deliver on the promises made in the CDA signed with their communities to Home.