…calls for responsible mining operations
…urges host communities on peaceful co-existence
By Gabriel Ewepu
WITH the drive to make the mining sector viable and a major foreign revenue earner for the country, the Minister of State Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, has toured two cement producing giants, BUA Cement and Okpella Cement Plc (Dangote) in Okpella, Edo State.
Ogah who was on a 3-day Working Visit to Edo State and facility tour of the companies was accompanied by the Edo State Commissioner for Mining, Oil and Gas, Ethan Uzamere, the Zonal Mines Officer, Abdulkadir Adamu, and the Ministry’s entourage.
His entourage also visited Okpella Cement Plc (Dangote) and Zhong xin quarry all located in the northern part of the state.
He said the Federal Government remains committed towards ensuring increased revenue in the mineral sector.
According to the statement issued by the Ministry, while at BUA Cement he also tasked operators in the mining sector to carry out responsible mining operations that would benefit all for peace to reign.
However, the Minister pointed that it was important for mining companies to operate within Mining Extant Laws, which would engender peaceful coexistence between operators and host communities.
He also encouraged them to maintain good community relationship for enhanced production, stating that maximum production of the plant would be of immense benefit to the Federal Government and create jobs for lots of Nigerians.
Meanwhile, he acknowledged the fact that interaction and sharing issues affecting their operations provides first-hand information for the Ministry to understand and look into them with the purpose of proffering solutions to solve the issues.
He added that the Ministry is committed towards helping them succeed. Saying, “The success of the plant makes the Ministry happy.”
However, the Minister called on the management to consider the request of the host community and provide mast for cellular services for them, asking that they speak with cellular service providers on behalf of the community.
Earlier, the Plant Director, Engr Ahmed Idris, disclosed that the company sources 98 per cent of raw materials for production in the community.
According to Idris, the Plant had two lines with a production capacity of 3 million tonnes each, but he made it known that plans are on the way to have more lines of production.