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Makinde blows hot, pledges to hold LG chairmen responsible

Makinde approves appointment of Olakunleyin as 43rd Olubadan of Ibadan

As part of measures to curb increasing level of illegal mining in the State, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Friday convened a strategic meeting with 33 Local Government Councils’ chairmen where he mandated all of the chairmen to take responsibility for the challenges and opportunities in the mining sector in their respective areas.

The governor, who spoke through Abiodun Oni, the Director-General of the Oyo State Mineral Development Agency and Executive Chairman of the Pacesetter Mineral Development Company, declared that there would be periodic assessment on activities of miners in their domains.

While emphasising the importance of harnessing the State’s mineral resources for the benefit of citizens, the governor noted that the operations in the sector must not be allowed to have adverse effects on the security of lives and property in the State, hence, there must be collaboration between the State and Local Government Authorities.

The governor submitted that while the mining sector is under the Exclusive Jurisdiction of the Federal Government, States and Local Governments have critical roles to play in ensuring that mining operations are conducted securely and with the consent of host communities.

He however charged the Local Government chairmen in the state to ensure that miners obtain the necessary consent letters and Community Development Agreements before commencing operations.

The governor emphasised that the primary duty of the Government is to protect life and property and that Local Government chairmen must take this responsibility seriously, as mining operations could sometimes be accompanied by security risks.

He urged the chairmen to collaborate with the State Government to ensure that Oyo State is not a security risk in the mining industry.

He said, “Governor Makinde has demonstrated that security is paramount to economic expansion and the wellbeing of the people by investing heavily in securing the state.

“The government has demonstrated in the last five years that the primary function of securing lives and property is number one on its agenda; so, the government’s resolve to explore mineral development as one of the avenues for shoring up the resources of the state has not in any way eroded that function.

“As the administrators at the grassroots, security is one of your responsibilities and it is expected that you should live up to that responsibility by protecting your people from the hazards of mining operations.

“So, let me tell you that as the governor says if you see something, say something and the government will do something. The governor has shown his passionate commitment to securing Oyo State from the dangerous side effects of mining by signing the Executive Order on Protection of Mining Communities against Insecurity and Exploitation.

“But as his eyes and ears at the grassroots, you must be alive to your duties by ensuring that the state government is not kept in the dark regarding mining operations in your respective domains.”

Olufunke Omidiran, Coordinating Director, Mineral Development Agency, encouraged the Local Government chairmen to take an active role in mining operations in their areas as it is part of their responsibilities and a key aspect of their election mandate.

But, Akeem Olatunji, Chairman of Oluyole Local Government, in his goodwill message at the event, acknowledged the security challenges associated with mining operations, pledging on behalf of other Local Government chairmen to work to towards curbing the activities of illegal miners in the State.