Plateau Assembly condemns neglect of community by mining coys
The Plateau House of Assembly Special Committee on Solid Minerals has condemned the neglect of Zurak, a community in Wase Local Government Area of the state, by mining companies.
The Chairman of the committee and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Yusuf Gagdi made the condemnation on Tuesday after inspecting mining sites in the community.
According to Gagdi, the effect of the exploration by the miners has turned the community to an “eyesore.”
He said the total neglect of the host community by the companies with regards to non compliance with the rules of engagement was unacceptable, warning that they must do the needful.
The lawmaker expressed concern over the environmental degradation as well as poor infrastructure in the community.
He also decried the non provision of health care service and other social amenities by the companies, saying these form the core principles of their corporate social responsibilities.
”Our visit to these sites today have made us see things for ourselves, and it is a confirmation of the complaints we have been getting from the community.
”The mining companies carrying exploration here have not in any way helped this community in terms of meeting up with their corporate social responsibilities.
”There is serious environmental degradation and the effects of the movement of mining products in and out of the community have left the road linking this place in a sorry state.
”The miners have not engaged the community as expected; they have not helped educationally in terms of scholarships, socially and in terms of healthcare services.
“ Above all, there is no infrastructural commitment.
”The worst is that government has not been generating much revenue from the mining activities as expected,” Gagdi said.
He said that though the companies legitimately acquired the grounds to carry out the exploration, the rules of engagement with the host community must be strictly adhered to.
The committee, he added, would look into the rules of engagement and make necessary recommendations to government that would be for the good of the companies and the host communities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Solid Unit Nig. Ltd. and Jotex Nig. Ltd., the two companies operating in the community, were directed by the Assembly to suspend mining activities until further notice.
NAN also reports that members of the committee were accompanied by the state’s Commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals Development, Mr Abdullahi Abbas.
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