Nigeria: Lawmakers Decry Water Pollution, Health Hazard in Mining Communities in Kogi

17 September 2021

The House of Representatives has decried the attendant health hazards and implications arising from the activities of the mining companies in Awo, Olukwu, Okobo and Onupi communities in Kogi State.

The resolution of the House followed the adoption of a motion moved at the plenary yesterday by Hon. Abdullahi Halims.

Moving the motion, the lawmaker said exploration and mining of coal is being carried out by companies such as Dangote and Eta Zuma operating in 828 different locations including Awo, Olokwu, Okobo and Onupi communities in Ankpa Federal Constituency of Kogi State.

Halims noted that the provisions of Section 116 of the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 stipulated that Community Development Agreements must be signed by the mining companies granted operational licenses.

The lawmaker however expressed worry that mining companies operating in Ankpa Federal Constituency have not lived up to such agreements, thereby depriving such host communities of maximum benefits of exploration and mining of mineral deposits in such communities.

He said such deprivations are potential dangers capable of causing crises between host communities and companies operating in the area

Halims said there was a need for legislative intervention to address the seeming anomalies and injustices to people of such communities.

The House urged "the federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to ensure that the mining companies live up to environmental obligations and standards enshrined in Section 116 of the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, 2007."

The House mandated its committee on Solid Minerals to ensure that companies involved in mining activities comply with the Community Development Agreements.

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