In his bid to properly harness the solid mineral potentials of the State, Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule has issued an Executive Order to protect mining host communities.
Hon. Yakubu Kwanta, the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources made the disclosure at a press conference on Wednesday (January 4, 2023) in Lafia the State Capital.
According to the Commissioner, the order was to ensure that mining companies operating in the State adhere to the terms and agreements of their operating license.
Mr Kwanta explained that the signing of Executive Order No. 02 2022 was aimed at protecting mining host communities from insecurity and other forms of criminality.
He added that the order is also to provide institutional and technical support to artisanal miners in various communities of the State.
The Commissioner said that in compliance with the order, all mining companies along with the host communities are to submit two copies of all previously signed community agreements on or before 30th January, 2023 to his ministry for vetting and certification.
He said: “All mining entities arriving and doing business in the State must report to the ministry for the purpose of documentation and identification of their operational status for peace and security.
“All mining entities doing business in the State must ensure that they pay all mining and other related taxes, levies, fees, charges promptly to the Central Billing System domiciled with the Nasarawa State Internal Revenue Service,” he added.
According to the Commissioner, the issuance of the Executive Order by the Governor implies that all mining host communities are hereby restricted from bequeathing Rights of Occupancy of lands to entities intending to carry out mining activities.
He said that all holders of Mining License are restricted to the powers conferred on them by the Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and the Land Use Act, 1978.
The Commissioner therefore said that the ministry would ensure restoration and reparation of the integrity of the degraded land and environment as required by the law.