By Mumini Abdulkareem
Worried by the alarming rate of illegal mining activities in Kwara State, the state government has been urged to as a matter of urgency constitute Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) as provided for in Section 19 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Acts 2007 to coordinate mining activities for the benefit of the government and the populace.
This was part of the resolutions of the House following the consideration of the report of the Ad-Hoc committee on illegal Mining Activities in the State.
The Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad while reading the resolutions of the Parliament said the inauguration of the committee became expedient in view of its numerous benefits to create job, coordinate mining activities and enable the state government to enjoy 13 per cent derivation fund from the Federation Account.
He said the life span of the ad-hoc committee would remain till Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed inaugurates the MIREMCO Committee in view of its significance in ensuring that the state reaps the full benefits of the mineral sector.
The legislature according to the Speaker also enjoined the state government to release funds appropriated in the 2018 budget for MIREMCO to perform its functions in the state.
It also called on the state government to liaise with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to visit the various mining sites for verification of the status of immigrants in the interest of National Security.
The Parliament also urged the state government to closely monitor issuance of letters of consent by traditional rulers to ensure that they are issued to only the licensed miners by the host community leaders.
The Legislature according to the Speaker while equally enjoining the state government to as a matter of urgency direct its Boundary Committee to liaise with the National Boundary Commission to effect the demarcation of boundary between Kaiama and Baruteen Local Government Areas to avert impending crisis, also resolved to urge the state government to put into use mining licenses acquired long time ago to ensure that the state fully harness its mineral resources potentials for the benefit of all and sundry .
The Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Hon. Hassan Oyeleke, had while presenting the report, observed among other things, that the state was endowed with abundant mineral deposit ,with no accurate information on mineral sites , no MIREMCO as prescribed by section 19 of the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Acts 2007 as well as high prevalence of illegal Miners in the state.