By John Okeke
The Hon. Minister of Mines & Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, has called on Mining Companies in the country to honour the Community Development Agreement (CDA) signed with their host communities.
He made this call recently when he paid a visit to Multiverse Nigeria Limited in Abuni, Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, as disclosed in a press statement issued by Idowu Jokpeyibo on behalf of the Ministry.
Adegbite said mining companies should positively impact their host communities. He said apart from getting the consent of the host community to mine, mining companies must sign CDA with the communities as well.
The CDA according to him, is one of the requirements the Ministry would demand for before issuing a mining license.
This, he emphasized would contain what the mining company intends to do for the development of the host community and as the mining company grows, the host community should benefit more. In his words, “as the project grows, it becomes mutually beneficial, as you benefit from the community, the community should also benefit, as you prosper, the community should also prosper.”
“The mistake was made in the oil sector where the oil companies prosper and the communities were impoverished, we want to avoid that pitfalls in this sector and the amity that exist will not be compromised”, he added.
The Minister commended Multiverse for the positive impact they are making on their host community and for being one of the success stories of the diversification efforts of the Federal Government through the mining sector.
“It is success stories like this that we encourage other investors, particularly local investors to come into the field. So we want to promote brands like this and encourage people to come into it and make a success of the business,” he said.
Nasarawa State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Musa Abubakar in his remarks, said Multiverse is one of the few mining companies that use modern drilling technology ahead of others who engage in open cast mining and damage the land with no clear reclamation plans.
The Commissioner said Multiverse mining site has provided jobs to the teeming youth in the State and has never failed in payment of royalties as stipulated in the Mining Act.
While assuring them of the State Government’s support, he encouraged the company to maintain the harmonious relationship that exists between the company and its host community.
The Executive Director Multiverse Nigeria Limited, Ayo Oluwasusi, earlier in his address said the company has employed over 400 Nigerians, 95 of which he said, are from the host community.
He said the company has ensured compliant to mining laws and has never defaulted in royalty payments to Federal Government as well as levies to the community.
He added that the Company is prioritizing transfer of technology to Nigerians stating the employment of over 60 graduates which has reduced the population of Chinese in the company from 38 to 18.