Mining: Osun Assembly Set To Enact Law Protecting Host Communities

The Osun House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Timothy Owoeye has said on Thursday that the state will enact a law that will protect the interest of communities where mining activities are taking place.

He spoke on the sidelines of the plenary held with Segilola Resource Ltd, a mining company that is about to begin operation at Odo-Ijesha, Iperindo and Imogbara communities in Atakumosa East Local Government.

The Speaker said the purpose of summoning the mining company was to resolve the grievances their host communities were having with them in terms of compensation for their land, which had been taken over for their mining activities.

“It is one of the primary functions of the legislative arm to intervene in any activity within its jurisdiction and I want to tell the good people of the state that the existence and investment of Segilola Resource Ltd is good for the state. Just In: Hotels, Bars Violating COVID-19 Rules To Pay N250,000 Fine – Osun Govt.

“When we noticed a problem between the company and their host communities after we received a petition from the hosting communities, the House quickly intervened.

“We noticed that the hosting communities felt cheated on the issue of compensation from the company in terms of what the company is trying to do in return for the host communities.

“We have appealed to the communities to remain calm and also for the company to come up with encouraging compensation for the people.

“We discover that there is a lacuna between the federal and the state laws because the law of the land stipulates that the Federal Government has exclusive power, in terms of mining, not putting into consideration the state that will host whoever that wants to invest in mining.

“Investors rely on the Federal Act on mining and this has not paid any good to the state because when investors do not give compensation, it does not add any value to our state.

“The Assembly will, however, come up with a law that will regulate the activities of miners in the state and at the same time, encourage investors to come to the state for business, because Osun is a peaceful state,” he said.

Earlier, during the plenary, Mr. Austin Minegbo, the resource manager of Segilola Resource Ltd, who led other members of his company to the Assembly, told the lawmakers that proper mining activities were yet to start. He said it was site construction that was ongoing on the land.

Minegbo said the survey and mapping of the area took place between July 2019 and January 2020.

He said a ‘community development agreement’ was also entered into with their host communities where modalities, benefits and welfare of host communities were fashioned out.

The company’s Community Development and Stakeholders Manager, Mrs. Madhurii Sarkar-Amoda, said 212 landowners and 790 asset owners connected to the mining land had been identified and compensation for their property had been worked out.

She said scholarship for the vulnerable in the hosting communities, programmes for project affected persons, donation of food items to the vulnerable during COVID-19 lockdown, livelihood restoration plan and other incentives were done and put in place to compensate and help the people of their host communities.

Osun Deputy Chief of Staff Mr. Adeyanju Binuyo, who accompanied Segilola Resource Ltd to the Assembly as the state government representative, said the company followed due process in their operation and was certified by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and Federal Ministry of Environment.

He said the Assembly should set up rules of engagement by companies that would be operating mining activities in the state, adding that the Assembly needed to interface with the Federal Government in the interest of the state and indigenes of mining communities.

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