By Gabriel Ewepu
THE Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Abubakar Bawa Bwari has revealed why the Federal Government, through his ministry, ordered the suspension of blasting and mining activities around areas that experienced minor earth tremor last week.
Speaking in Abuja on Sunday while updating Nigerians on what could have triggered the tremor, the minister said the Federal Government ordered the suspension in order to enable the team of experts put together by the ministry investigating the incidence do a thorough job.
According to him, getting to the root of the cause of what triggered the tremor would be better achieved without blasting activities around the affected areas.
“Even though l would not say the tremor experienced may have to do with excavations around the affected areas until investigations are completed remembering that two years ago, there was an incidence like that in Kwoi, in Southern Kaduna, it is better to suspend all mining and blasting activities around affected areas until investigations by experts ascertain its cause. They have taken samples to aid their job and there was a need by the government to stop all excavation and mining activities to enable them do a good job.”
He said considering that the world is experiencing climate change, some of the unusual incidents could be natural occurrences.
He, however, said the government had proactively acquired some geoscientific detecting equipment to detect such happenings and was in the process of installing them when the Abuja incidence occurred.
“As a government, we had proactively acquired some geoscientific equipment to help detect some of these unsuspecting natural occurrences so as to help us in detecting the incidents and were in the process of installing when the tremor happened in Abuja. The good news is that Nigeria geographically is not on the lane of earthquakes but we are not relenting.
nce the world over, considering climate change, things are sometimes happening where they ought not to.”
He said the six geo science equipment when installed, will go a long way in the detection of such natural occurrences while not ruling out elements of human-induced activities. “There is no conclusion yet on the matter since investigation is ongoing but we cannot also rule out human induced activities. We may not have control over some of these occurrences but our control mechanism remains that mining is done under best practices.”
He reiterated that Nigerians should not panic or be scared. “Luckily, we have not gotten to the trend where mining would be seen as dangerous in Nigeria. We are not located in such dangerous zone. Our men went to the affected areas and checked, but no quakes or cracks were found.” He concluded.