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FG begins foreign illegal miners’ visas scrutiny

Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, disclosed an inter-ministerial collaboration meant to check visas of expatriates involved in Illegal mining in the country.

Adegbite, who spoke in Gbongan, Osun State, after delivering the 2022 annual public lecture of the Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association, also said the federal government was diversifying the economy from oil to other sectors.

The Minister, an old boy of the College, also harped on the need to secure community consent before mining activities would commence, adding that the agreement between miners and the communities where mining fields are located must also be reviewed at the 5-year intervals.

He said, “The most important aspect in mining is consent. Without the consent of the community of the land, you cannot mine there. For you to mine and get their consent, you have to convince them of the benefits to them. There is something called ESG (Environmental, Sustenance and Governance) in mining which we hold very dearly.

“While mining is going on, that is when the consent and the C.D.A come in. The consent is the agreement of the community. Before the operation starts, a C.D.A must be signed. The C.D.A is the Community Development Agreement. This is a five-yearly process. You sign a C.D.A this year, you must sign another one in the next five years.

“Illegal miners are foreigners who come into Nigeria and who come to mine without license. It is a multi-sectoral approach. We are working with the Ministry of Interior that will check their visas.

“Some come to work in some other place as to what is associated with mining. We are using the law enforcement agencies, the police, Civil Defence, the Army, among others.”

Speaking earlier, the National President of the Government College Ibadan Old Association, Dr. Olawale Babalakin, lauded the solid foundation laid by the founding fathers of the school at its inception.

He noted that the gathering was essentially to remind Nigerians about the need for “good, quality education” old students enjoyed and still enjoying to date.

“GCI is a school founded on quality, discipline, and sound culture. We are here to remind Nigerians that this is the way to go. Special thanks the executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr Seyi Makinde for returning GCI to the old boys for seamless, essential transformation.”

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