The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Musa Mohammed Sada, has inaugurated Bauchi State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee.
The minister described the event as “a milestone in the present administration’s determination to fast tract the orderly and sustainable development of solid mineral endowments of Nigeria.”
“This occasion should be seen as the practical demonstration of government’s resolve to engage host mining communities in partnership, not only to affirm our determination to ensure that they are at the heart of policy making, but also to ensure that they benefit both socially and economically from the mining activities around them.”
Sada disclosed that the 2007 Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act provides for the establishment of the State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee in each state of the federation as well as the signing of a Community Development Agreement with host communities which clearly spells out social and economic contributions that the Mineral Title Holders are expected to make to host communities.
The membership of the committee as provided by section 19 of the 2007 Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act is as follows: a representative of the Mines Environmental Compliance Department of the ministry in a state shall be chairman of the committee; a representative of the ministry responsible for land or mineral related matters in the state; the federal mines officer responsible for the state; a representative of the ministry of agriculture or forestry of the state; a representative of the Surveyor General of the state; a representative of the local government council when matters affecting the said local government area are being considered by the committee; a representative of the state environmental department or agency; a representative of the federal ministry of environment in the state.
The minister said that in order to avail host communities the opportunity to contribute to the orderly development of the nation’s solid mineral resources in their domain, government had decided to delegate chairmanship of the committee to a prominent indigene of each state.
The chairman of the Bauchi State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee is Mallam Yusuf M. Baba.
The terms of reference of the committee are to: consider and advise the minister on issues affecting returns of necessary reports affecting grants of mining titles; consider issues affecting compensation and make necessary recommendations to the minister; discuss, consider and advice the minister on matters relating to pollution and degradation of any land on which any mineral is being extracted; consider such other matters relating to mineral resources development within the state as the minister may from time to time refer to the committee.
The committee’s advisory role is also extended to government departments as provided by the Nigerian Minerala and Metals Act, 2007.