02 April 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development says communities should have some benefits from mining projects within them and that mining operations should impact positively on the lives of host communities.
The Director, Mines Environmental Compliance Department of the ministry, Mr. Salim Salaam, disclosed this in Abuja as he revealed news of some mining companies signing community development agreement with their host communities.
According to him, the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, NMMA, 2007 introduced a novel practice of mandatory community agreement, CDA, between mining sector operators and a certain segment of the society referred to as “the host community”.
“Wherever mining operation is going on, the community should have some benefits from the projects, this will impact positively on the lives of host communities and improve their relationship with better interaction.
“We at the ministry don’t partake in the signing of the agreement but we ensure that the terms and conditions in the agreement are achievable and realistic,” Salaam said.
He explained that the Mining Act enacts a regime of mandatory CDA negotiation between minerals exploration and production companies and communities within and around which they operate.
The director further said his department has a monitoring and enforcement unit, which ensures mining companies fulfill the agreement signed with their host communities.
“The unit collates information, checks regularly, and updates its records before the timeline given to the companies to operate in the communities expires; if any company failed to fulfill its agreement, the unit follows them up,” he said.