Samuel Bello, Abuja
The Federal Government has said that it had recovered 25 abandoned mining sites.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite stated this recently in Abuja during a press conference in respect of the forthcoming 2019 Nigeria Mining Week.
According to the Minister, the government has been careful about the recovery process, because it constitutes danger to people in the process.
“Ministry took cautious support and conducted inventories of abandoned mining sites. As of the last count, there was 1260 abandoned sites out of which 25 were recovered. Now, every year we make provision for the recovery of these mining sites.
“Those mining sites are like a two exploits. At times they are useful because they form artificial lakes, water gets collected in them and this water becomes useful especially in dry season farming for those areas where they use them.
“They also constitute danger to people because in some places, vegetation has grown and you don’t know there is a hole there. If you fall into that, it is almost impossible to get out. It’s a continuous process reclaiming this abandoned sites, because when they are recovered, they almost spoil soil base for farming and I think so far, the ministry has been able to recover 25 sites from 2007 that the programme started,” Adegbite said.
Also speaking, Price water Cooper(PwC) Head Advisory and Mining Sector Leader, Cyril Azobu, said the conference, would be in continuity in the implementation of the roadmap by the new ministers, albeit with adjustments and enhancements made to ensure targets are met.
On his part, President of Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Alhaji Kabir Mohammed Kankara, urged the ministry to become more involved in the upcoming conference and exhibitions.
Responding, the minister, Adegbite, said they had agreed that the event should always be private qq, but as hosts, the ministry would become more involved henceforth.
The minister said more life would be put in the mining week, noting that plans for the 2020 mining week will start immediately at the end of the conference.
“We will surpass what oil and gas is doing for Nigeria. If we get the work right, we will surpass the earnings from oil and gas. Mining is not an immediate thing and it needs a lot of inputs,” he said.