Nigeria: Govt to reclaim lands damaged by mining activities

*Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Nigeria's minister of Solid Minerals.

*Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Nigeria’s minister of Solid Minerals.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

27 May 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Government says it has made provisions in the 2016 budget to help communities reclaim lands damaged by open cast mining across the country.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who disclosed this at a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja, said the ministry has a law that gives conditions for environmental complaints.

Speaking specifically about the conditions in places like Jos, Plateau State, and Enugu State, Fayemi stated that, “If you look at our budget this year, you will see specific allocation for reclamation of those mines that have been damaged by open cast mining.

“We feel that in areas where mining is no longer taking place, we really should assist the community and the constituencies to reclaim the land and put it back to use and we are doing it within the limit of resources available to the ministry.”

He said the ministry was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Environment to address the lead poisoning problem in Niger and Zanfara states.

Fayemi said that in an effort to address complaints on the damaged lands, the ministry had a directorate dedicated to entertaining environmental complaints.

He said, “We have environmental complaints offices in every state of the federation in the country to monitor and then report back to us what is happening.

“They will find out if the companies that are operating under the mining act adhere strictly to the provision of our environmental complaints directorate.”

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