The Hon. Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr kayode Fayemi, in Abuja, commissioned some newly acquired vehicles for the operations of the Special Mines Surveillance Task force (SMSTF) and the State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO).
In his speech made available to LEADERSHP, the minister who acknowledged the critical roles of both the taskforce and the comittee
in sustainable development of the mining sector said, “As a strategy to strengthen the Taskforce in all the States of the Federation and the FCT, 40 Toyota Hilux vehicles have been procured. The vehicles will be commissioned today and their usage flagged-off.”
On the part of MIREMCO, fayemi said the current administration took decisive measures to reactivate the State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) in all the States of the Federation including FCT in 2017, adding that the committee is now vibrant in 26 states.
“The first fifteen (15) States with functional MIREMCOs have already received the sum of Five (5) Million Naira each, as mobilisation grants and ten (10) Hilux pick-up Vehicles were procured for the first ten (10) States,” he said, adding that beneficiaries of the batch of vehicles being commissioned yesterday included: Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Cross Rivers, Edo, Kaduna, Kano, Ogun, Osun, rfand Rivers States.
He charged members to justify government’s effort by using the vehicles for the purpose which they were procured for – tackling illegal mining and related challenges in the sector.
“At this juncture, I would like to appeal to all members of the Taskforce and MIREMCO to utilise these vehicles responsibly and strictly for the purposes they are meant for. We hope this significant investment would lead to increased capacity to contribute your own quota to the growth and development of the Nigerian Mining sector, on the collective road to shared mining prosperity. I ask you, therefore, to strive to accomplish your assignments and leave a worthy legacy for posterity,” he appealed.
The State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) is a statutory mechanism established by Section 19 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 to create synergy between Federal, State and Local Governments for the Sustainable Development of Solid Minerals Resources in the Country.
The Committee is to operate in all the States of the Federation including the FCT and its functions, as stipulated in the extant Act, is to advise the Minister on all issues relating to the Mineral Resources Development, Environmental Protection, Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources, conflict resolutions and other environmental and social issues. The Committee became operational with the inauguration of the 37 Committee chairman on the 19th August, 2018 in Abuja.
Fayemi said that due to lack of required logistics, the Special Mines Surveillance Taskforce and State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) could not deliver their mandates and this led to upsurge in the activities of illegal mining across the States of the Federation and strained relationship with States and Local Governments.
Considering the alarming rate the illegal mining has posed against the present administration’s efforts in diversifying the economy, Government has decided to take a coordinated approach to curtail the menace, sanitise the mines-field and position the sector on the path of sustainable development, hence the resuscitation of the Special Mines Surveillance Taskforce (SMSTF) in 2017,” he said.
It may be recalled that the Task Force was establish in 2012 with membership drawn from relevant Ministries and security organisations.
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