The Director-General, Oyo State Mineral Development Agency, Mr Abiodun Oni, has called for the cooperation of stakeholders in the mineral resources sector of the state to curb illegal operations and other irregularities.
Oni made the call during a stakeholders’ meeting and sensitisation programme on solid mineral resources, held in Saki, in Oke Ogun zone of the state.
The event was an interactive session between traditional rulers, land owners and other stakeholders and the officials of the Oyo State Mineral Development Agency and Pacesetter Mineral Development Company, to discuss the implementation of the Executive Order 001/2023 signed by the State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, to find lasting solutions to the menace of illegal mining and other irregularities in the mining sector in the state.
In his address, Oni stressed that the state is blessed with natural resources, but there is the need to monitor and check the activities of illegal miners in the state.
He noted that though mining is on the exclusive list, the onus of checking the excesses of some mining operators rests on the state, as the activities would have dire consequences on the people and the environment.
Oni added that the illegal operations of some miners are often influenced by the ignorance and lack of proper documentation agreement with the land owners, saying this was one of the reasons for the interactive session.
He, however, expressed optimism that the implementation of the Executive Order will solve the irregularities in the state mining sector.
In his own contribution, the Oyo State Commissioner for Justice, Mr Abiodun Aikomo, expressed concern on the health and security of the mining communities, noting that the people of areas that have mineral resources had responsibilities to cooperate with the state government on the implementation of the executive order.
In their various reactions, the Okere of Saki, Oba Kalihid Olabisi, represented by the Aare of Ago Aare, Oba Abodunrin Kofoworola and some other stakeholders present at the event, condemned the illegal operations of the miners in Oke Ogun zone, charging the state government to fully engage the traditional rulers to implement the executive order.
Some of the requests of the state government from the mining operators are the letter of consent and Operation Licence as well as the protection and welfare of the mining communities.