The Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, has inaugurated the Osun Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) to tackle illegal mining activities in the state.

The governor, on Wednesday, said the appointment and inauguration of the Committee are in line with the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act 2007, which empowers the Committee to oversee the regulation of the entire mining operations in the state.

Mr Oyetola also said “the committee would discuss and advise the Minister of Solid Minerals on matters affecting encroachment, trespass, security, social unrest, pollution and environmental degradation of any land on which any mineral is being extracted as it relates to all licence holders within the State.”

The nine members of the committee include Omolade Binuyo (Chairman); the Federal Mining Officer, Abimbola Oyediran; Representative of State Office of Natural Resources, Alake Kolawole; Representative of State Ministry of Lands, Oluseyi Falope; Representative of Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel, L. Olatunji; Representative of Ministry of Environment and Sanitation, Baderinwa Abideen; Representative of Federal Ministry of Environment, Adebisi Ayodele; Representative of Surveyor General, Surveyor Abioye Ayodele; and Representative of Federal Ministry of Mines, Isaac Ojo, who will serve as the Secretary of the Committee.

Mr Oyetola charged the members of the Committee to live up to their responsibilities of redefining the sector for the betterment of the State and the citizenry.

“While we recognise that the exploration and exploitation of solid minerals are on the Exclusive Legislative list of the Federal Government, we must also note that we have been faced with the excruciating challenge of environmental degradation arising from lack of environmental and ecological literacy on the part of the local communities coupled with irresponsible and unprofessional mining by both licensed and illegal miners.

“The starting point for remediating this situation is for you to educate and sensitise the people on ecological literacy through town hall and media interventions.

“In achieving these tasks and ultimately setting Osun on the path of effective resource management, we have assembled men and women of character, relevant skills and experience.

“Without any doubt whatsoever, the tasks before you as members of this Committee are onerous and sensitive as they are related to the security and welfare of Osun people, which the 1999 Constitution says are the primary purpose of Government.

“As the eyes and the ears of government, I charge you to carry out your responsibilities, which are a call to duty, with the highest sense of purpose, responsibility and efficiency.

“I implore you as experienced professionals and elders, to employ peace management, conflict resolution and diplomatic skills and competencies to manage the thorny issues arising from mineral exploitation.

“You must sustain the standard set by our Administration during the town hall meetings with miners and community people to maintain peaceful coexistence.

“The people of Osun look up to the members of this Committee to transform their challenges to fortune and to put their State on the map as the first State to get resource management right in the nation and on the continent,” he added.

PREMIUM TIMES has written various reports on cases of illegal mining in Osun. After these reports, over 100 local and foreign illegal miners have been arrested by Operation Amotekun at different mining sites.


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