By Victor Adeoti
Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun on Wednesday inaugurated the National Committee for Minerals Regulation and Environmental Management.
Oyetola, at the inauguration in Oshogbo, said the committee was tasked with cleaning up the state’s resource climate.
It is also about solving the current challenges facing mine sites and affected communities.
The governor said the appointment and inauguration of the committee was in accordance with Nigeria‘s Minerals and Mines Act 2007, which empowered the committee to oversee the regulation of all mining operations in the state.
He said they were also to discuss and advise the Minister of Solid Minerals on issues affecting encroachment, trespassing, security, social unrest, pollution and environmental degradation of any land on which a mineral was mined with respect to all licensees within the state. .
“The inauguration of this committee is another major step towards the exit of our State from economic misery and the redefinition of our socio-economic life as a State.
“As a government, we are resolved to erect a solid structure to lead our resource-rich state and ensure a resource boom,” he said.
Oyetola said the state recognizes exploration and exploitation of solid minerals on the federal government’s exclusive legislative list.
He said he should, however, also note that Osun had faced the excruciating challenge of environmental degradation, resulting from the lack of environmental and ecological knowledge on the part of local communities.
This, he said, was associated with irresponsible and unprofessional mining by licensed and illegal miners.
The governor urged committee members to educate and raise awareness of ecological literacy through public and media interventions.
He said that more recently, the Osun River has been polluted with heavy metals and other contaminants, threatening investments in the water sector.
“Our land is also littered with an array of abandoned mine sites that require decommissioning and reclamation.
“I hereby call on this committee to rise to the occasion and ensure that this ugly trend is reversed now,” Oyetola said. (NOPE)
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