• Friday, June 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

Mine Collapse: FG to enforce miners insurance

Mining marshals crack down on illegal miners, impound 10 trucks

President Bola Tinubu, on Friday, visited and condoled with the governor of Niger State as well as victims of the mine pit collapse in Galadima Kogo, Shiroro Local Government Area.

Represented by Dele Alake, the minister of Solid Minerals Development, the President also reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to enforcing insurance policy for mine workers in Nigeria.

In a statement signed by Segun Tomori the ministers’ special assistant on Media it stated that Alake while on a condolence visit to Niger State Governor, Umar Bago, in Minna,conveyed the President’s sympathies.

“I bring the condolences and sympathies of Mr. President to the families of victims, those injured, the entire community, and the government and people of Niger state on the mine pit collapse. It is unfortunate and avoidable. Though we learned the disaster was due to heavy downpour, we are committed to intensifying the monitoring of mining operations to ensure conformity to environmental standards,” Alake stated.

The Minister commended the state government for swiftly mobilizing emergency rescue operations in collaboration with federal agencies, stressing that all efforts must be made to rescue those still trapped.

To enhance safety measures and provide relief to miners and their families in the event of accidents, Alake declared that insurance policies for miners across the country will be enforced. He also emphasized the federal government’s stance that remediation plans must accompany mining license applications, stating that irresponsible mining operations posing threats to the environment and communities will no longer be tolerated.

“We must also put in place contingency plans to mitigate the impact of natural disasters on mining sites. For instance, making the installation of support pillars under shafts mandatory. This practice is common in other countries,” he added.

Governor Bago expressed gratitude to President Tinubu for the condolence visit and emphasized the need for a concerted effort between the federal government and subnationals to ensure mining companies comply with safety standards.

He advocated the strengthening of collaborative measures to enhance periodic monitoring and evaluation of the environmental impact of mining operations to minimize recurrence of the unfortunate incident.

Citing the preponderance of commercially viable critical minerals in the state, Gov. Bago appealed to the federal government to focus on making the state the pivot of developing the nation’s mining sector.

Governor Bago accompanied the minister to visit recuperating victims at IBB Specialist Hospital. On behalf of President Tinubu, he announced a donation of N50 million to assist affected patients and families.