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Nasarawa Govt closes mining site in Kokona LGA

The Nasarawa State Government says it has closed a mining site in Amba community of Kokona Local Government Area of the state for illegal operation.

Mr Yakubu Kwanta, Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, announced this on Wednesday in Lafia.

He explained that the illegal company was discovered by the personnel of his ministry during their routine inspections of mining sites in the state.

“Our personnel discovered that the was operating without the consent of the state government and Amba community.

“We took a bold step and closed the site on April 19 to secure the community following series of complaint in the area,” he said.

Kwanta added that the illegal company was closed by a joint team of security agencies and currently the security had taken over the site on the directive of the state government.

“The community also wrote a petition about the illegal mining activities in their area without proper consent and we needed to take action to avoid breakdown of law and order,” he added.

The commissioner noted that Governor Abdullahi Sule had issued Executive Order No 02 of 2022 that communities’ consent must be forwarded to the state government before any company could begin mining in any part of the state.

“All community consent and development agreement made pursuant to Section 116 of the Mineral and Mining Act, 2007 and prior to signing by authenticated community heads shall be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice.

“The said documents will be forwarded through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to be vetted and certified by the Attorney-General of Nasarawa State,” he explained.

He explained that the Executive Order would avoid multiple issuances of community consents and development agreements to mining entities and ensure that community development commitments made therein would not be in conflict with the overall development master plan of the state.

The commissioner said that the Executive Order provided that all mining entities arriving the state with authority of the Federal Government must undergo checks by the ministry responsible for environment and mining to verify their legal status, citizenship and background before settlement.

Kwanta called on the public to disregard insinuations in all quarters, adding that the decision was to ensure peace and adherence to the existing laws guiding mining activities.

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