Nigeria: 313 mining companies face sanction over failure to fulfil environmental obligations
(Ecofin Agency) - The Federal Government of Nigeria has sanctioned 313 mining companies operating in the country over failure to fulfil their environmental obligations.
These obligations include conducting environmental surveys such as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation Programme (EPRP) and the Community Development Agreement (CDA).
The Director, Mines Environmental Compliance Department, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Salim Salaam, who disclosed this, said the companies failed to carry out these surveys before starting operations after several warning from the government.
He explained that these actions could be dangerous to the host communities’ health and cause environmental degradations.
“Mining operators are mandated to conduct EPRP, according to Section 119 of the Nigerian Mining Act. The CDA is also mandatory under Section 116 of the act for mining operators to sign an agreement with host communities on what to do to improve their livelihoods. The idea of conducting EIA is to proffer mitigation measures against mining impacts before commencing operation,’’ he added.
According to Salaam, of the 313 mining companies, four were asked to stop operations, five companies’ licenses were revoked, while 20 other mining companies were issued warning letters to abide by the mining act to avoid revocation.
He noted that the ministry had decided not to renew the licences of the remaining 284 mining companies unless they are given another chance by the Minister, Kayode Fayemi (photo), to fulfil all the necessary environmental obligations.