The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) says it will continue to ensure that all mineral title holders fulfill their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)to their host mining communities.
Dr Vivian Okono, the Director, Mines and Environmental Compliance Department, MMSD said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
Okono said it became imperative for the ministry to monitor and ensure mineral title holders fulfill their CSR due to the communities where they mined to avoid conflicts and complains from both parties.
She said recently, the ministry received complaints from some host mining communities on lack of implementation of Community Development Agreement (CDA) that mineral title holders signed with them.
The director said that her department came up with a sensitisation programme to enlighten and remind mining title holders on CDA they signed with their host mining communities.
“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 mining 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,’’ she said.
She said that CDA was backed by section 016 of the Nigeria Mineral and Mining Act, which provides that all mining title companies should transfer social and economic benefit to their host mining communities.
“The department has done so much to ensure what the Act stated is being carried out by mining 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 said.
She said that the key mandate of her department was to enforce all environmental resources management in Nigeria.
Okono said that the department would conduct sensitisation programme in the six geo political zone and active mining states to ensure mining companies comply with CDA and among other issues.