TIMOTHY Owoeye, Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, said on Thursday that the state government would soon enact a law to safe safeguard the interest of communities where mining activities were ongoing.
Owoeye spoke on the sideline of the plenary session held with Segilola Resource Limited, a mining company that is set to operate in Odo-Ijesha, Iperindo and Imogbara communities in Atakumosa East Local Government Area of Osun.
The speaker said that the purpose of summoning the mining company was to resolve the grievances by the host communities in terms of compensation for their land which had been taken over for mining activities.
“It is the primary function of the legislature to intervene in any activity within its jurisdiction. I want to tell the people of the state that the existence and investment of Segilola Resource Limited is good for the state.
“When we noticed a problem between the company and their host communities, after we receive a petition from the hosting communities, the House intervenes.
“We also found out that the host 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,’’ he said.
The speaker also said 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 would host whoever that wants to invest in mining.
“Investors rely on Federal Act on mining and this has not yielded any dividends 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 to do business, because Osun is a peaceful state,” he said.
Earlier, during the plenary, Mr Austin Minegbo, the Resource Manager of Segilola Resource Limited, who led other members to the Assembly, told the lawmakers that proper mining activities were yet to start, that it was site construction that was ongoing in the area.
Minegbo explained that after the survey and mapping of the area, the mining operations would commence.
He said that a Community Development Agreement’ was also entered into with their host communities where modalities, benefits and welfare of host communities were fashioned out.
Mrs Madhurii Sarkar-Amoda, the company’s Community Development and Stakeholders Manager, further stated that 212 land owners and 790 asset owners connected to the mining lands had been identified and compensation for their property had been worked out.
She said scholarship for vulnerable persons in the hosting communities, programme for project affected persons, donation of food items to the vulnerable during covid-19 lockdown, were put in place to compensate the people of their host communities.
Mr Adeyanju Binuyo, the Osun Deputy Chief of Staff, who accompanied Segilola Resource Limited to the Assembly, said the company followed all due process in their operation, and were certified by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and Federal Ministry of Environment.
Binuyo, however, posited that the Assembly should setup rules of engagement by companies that would be operating mining activities in the state, stating that the Assembly needed to interface with the Federal Government in the interest of the state and people of the mining communities
– Sept. 17, 2020 @ 19:16 GMT |