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Ministry vows to ensure mining companies fulfill Corporate Social Responsibility

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Ministry vows to ensure mining companies fulfill Corporate Social Responsibility

The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) has stated that it will continue to ensure that all mineral title holders meet their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligations to the host mining communities.

In an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, Dr Vivian Okono, Director, Mines and Environmental Compliance Department, MMSD, stated this.

To minimize problems and complaints from both parties, Okono said it became necessary for the government to monitor and guarantee mineral title holders fulfill their CSR duty to the communities where they mined.

She stated that the government has received complaints from some host mining towns on the failure to follow the Community Development Agreement (CDA) that mineral title holders signed with them.

The director explained that her department devised a public awareness campaign to educate and remind mining title holders about the CDAs they signed with their host communities.

In her words, “We conducted sensitisation programme recently in Kogi to make the communities have clear knowledge of what they are expected to benefit from the mining title holders operating in their communities.

“And we also made the mining title holders to know and have broader ideas of what to do for their host communities.’’

Section 016 of the Nigeria Mineral and Mining Act, she explained, mandates that all mineral title firms deliver social and economic benefits to their host mining communities.

“The department has done so much to ensure what the Act stated is being carried out by companies, the CDA is an obligation that must kick start before commencement of mining operations.

“CDA is just like a legal document that must be carried out and it will run like for a period of five years; we encourage projects that will be beneficial to the community within the five years and fulfil them.

“A mineral title holder is expected to hold a meeting with the host community and outline what and what he or she will do for the community because you cannot take mineral and you don’t give back.

“We don’t encourage money because it might get to the top and will not get to the community, we encourage scholarship, employment among others that must be measurable, realistic and timely,’’ she added.

Her department’s main mission, she claimed, was to enforce all environmental resource management in Nigeria.

According to Okono, the agency would launch a sensitization program in the six geopolitical zones and active mining states to ensure that mining businesses follow the CDA and other regulations.

Ministry vows to ensure mining companies fulfill Corporate Social Responsibility

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