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Experts decry poor mining regulation in Nigeria, others

Miners at work

. Seek proper environmental impact assessment

Victor Uzoho

Global Rights and the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA), has decried the poor regulation of artisanal and illegal mining in host communities, following the worrisome mining activities across Nigeria and other West African countries.

Specifically, Executive Director at Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu, on Thursday, explained that the activities of artisanal and illegal miners have led to serious health problems and environmental degradation in West Africa.

Speaking at a two-day summit, tagged: “ECOWAS Mining Directive and Social Safeguards for Mining Host Communities in West Africa,” Baiyewu said the regional conference aimed to provide a better understanding of the ECOWAS Mining Directives for people in the region.

She added that the sharing of experience will equip host communities with prerequisite knowledge on how to achieve accountability and sustainability.

Summit will improve their understanding of issues faced by mining host communities, to increase their capacity for engaging with companies and the government on human rights and development impacts of mining.

She said: “The primary purpose of the Summit is to create a convening platform for mining host communities across West Africa to share experience. This is to improve their understanding of issues faced by mining host communities, to increase their capacity for engaging with companies and the government on human rights and development impacts of mining, and facilitate opportunities for joint action and problem-solving.”

In their remarks, representatives of Kogi and Niger states, Ojochogu Okigbo, and Mary Abdul, respectively, called for the prioritisation of mining licences, as well as proper environmental impact assessment in the remediation process.

Earlier, speakers from Senegal, Niger Republic, and Guinea urged that the contemporary issues affecting women and children in mining host communities be speedily addressed.

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