Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Minister for Mines and Steel Development (State) Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah on Friday, assured that no miner will be allowed to cheat any host communities in whatever way.
This is even as he also urged members of local communities to always cooperate with miners in their localities and avoid the temptation to shut mining activities.
Ogah gave the assurance while on a working visit to the company in Okpowku Local Government area of Benue State to look into allegations of pollution of waters caused by mining activities in the area where Dangote Coal Mines Limited has two mines sites.
The Minister advised the management of Dangote Coal Mines Limited to keep to agreement it entered with mining communities in Okpokwu Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State.
“We will make sure that you get the attention of every investor so that at the end of the day your life will be better,” the minister said. He explained that the result of the investigation will determine if the pollution is caused by mining ans if there is the need to treat the water and or provide alternative sources.
Some of the locals who spoke claimed that they were not carried along by the miners even as they made allegations of pollution of water bodies in their communities.
President General of Akpali Development Association Sunday Agbede and that of Edumoga Youth Forum Ejembi Andrew demanded that the mining companies should provide water, jobs, electricity and roads for the communities as benefits from the exploration.
Reacting, Nuhu Elujah, General Manager, Community Relations Dangote Coal Mines Industries said six projects have been identified for the host communitiea and are spread across the years of thw Community Development Agreement (CDA).
Elijah who disclosed that the company had already spent N1million on schorlaships explained further that the company was targeting other projects such as clinic, water, electricity, six classroom blocks, road and scholarship for the host communities.
He assured that it will not relent in ensuring that they keep to the terms of CDA.