By Matthew Denis
In a bid to curb activities of illegal miners and boost revenue generation, the Kwara State government on Thursday inaugurated Minerals Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO).
Speaking during the inauguration, the Commissioner for Industry and Mineral Resources, Alhaji Hammed Alhassan said, “The committee will play a pivotal role in the realisation of the avowed determination of the present administration to turn the mining sub-sector of the state economy to a huge revenue earnings source.
“The members of the committee as contained in section 19(3) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 are to consider and advise the minister on issues affecting returns of necessary reports affecting grants of mining titles.
“Consider issues affecting compensation and make necessary recommendations to the Minister. Discuss, consider and advice the Minister on the matters affecting population and degradation of any land on which any mineral is being extracted.
“Consider matters relating to minerals resources development within the state as the minister may refer to the committee anytime among others.”
The Commissioner stressed the importance of minerals resources being on the exclusive list of the constitution for the 13 percent derivation fund to the state.
He said, “The state government will benefit tremendously from the MIREMCO as the committee will promote a harmonious working relationship with other tiers of government, miners and the host community.
“The committee will ensure that the 13 percent derivation fund to the state is easily calculated to boost revenue and compel mining company to perform corporate social responsibility to their host communities.”
Alhassan urged the committee to work assiduously to make huge success by reducing activities of illegal mining.
The Representative of Federal Ministry of Mining, Mr. Hakeem Bolarewa noted that the committee has been set up in all the 36 states of the federation to synergizes governments and the local communities.
He said, “We have the objective to interface with the localities and coordinate harmonious working relationship with mining companies.”
The Chairman of the committee, Engr. Idris Abubakar Garba stressed that among other things the committee will assist in resolving disputes and ensure compensation appropriately to localities.
The event had the Commissioners of Agriculture, Bamidele Adegoke, Environment and Forestry, Amos Shayo among other top government functionaries and stakeholders in attendance.