WIM President speaks on strategy to boost community involvement in Nigeria
Exclusive interview with the Hon Janet Adeyemi, President of Women in Mining, Nigeria.
At the upcoming Nigeria Mining Week in Abuja in October, she is a panellist on the conference programme discussing: “Communities engagement: How to create a strategic working plan for community involvement and growth, integrate artisanal mining into the formal mining system and achieve safe mining practices”.
“CSR and CSI are intertwined for successful mining operations”
Some background on the Hon Mrs Adeyemi and her role at Women in Mining:
Hon Janet Adeyemi Febisola is President of Women in Mining, Nigeria and also founder of Succour for battered lives, SUBATEL, a charity organisation fending for victims from avalanche of disasters. She earned degrees in geology and engineering. She is registered member of council for the regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, a member of Association of consulting engineers in Nigeria ACEN, and Fellow of Nigeria Mining and Geosciences Society. She has served in various capacities of the legislature as a member of House of Representatives and the executive. She is very passionate about sustainable mining.
Any projects that Women in Mining are involved in in Nigeria that you are particularly excited about at the moment?
1. We are involved in advocacy, sensitisation and promotion of the relevance of women in the industry which has taken us round all the mining destinations in the country.
2. Appraisal of the impacts of mining in the rusty mining of Jo’s.
3. Baseline studies on the status of women in the sector in collaboration with Vividrain. and sponsored by OSIWA through the Ministry of Mines and steel.
4. Sensitisation of young graduates to the sector through mentoring etc.
5. Crowd funding to run lead zinc extraction in Taraba still on-going.
6. The official mainstreaming of gender into the mining sector on 7 June 2018.
7. Co-hosting of the Mine to Money event in Nov 2017.
What in your view are the challenges to taking the mining sector in Nigeria to the next level?
1. The framework must be amended to make it investor friendly.
2. The conflict between surface rights and mineral rights must be well defined. So too the Land Use Act 1978 sec 28 on the priority use of land and overriding interest.
3. The mining cadastre office should be open completely to public scrutiny and run virtually based on ICT.
4. Access to funds crucial etc.
What are the particular challenges for women in this sector in your view?
1. Acceptability as stakeholders.
2. Low perception.
3. Lack of funds, skills etc.
4. Processing of titles cumbersome for most to follow.
5. Poor wages for those working as labourers etc.
What is your vision for the mining sector in Nigeria?
It can be a major contributor to GDP and job employment if well managed through a transparent system.
How important is Nigeria Mining Week to showcase the country’s mining potential?
Always an important opportunity to showcase opportunities and potentials and learn by yet to be a mining destination.
You are a panellist on the conference programme discussing: “Communities engagement: How to create a strategic working plan for community involvement and growth integrate artisanal mining into the formal mining system, and achieve safe mining practices” – what experience will you share at the event?
CSR and CSI are intertwined for successful mining operations. Corporate investors must be committed to building the capacities of their host communities and encourage them to invest proceeds from them. Only then can such corporation thrive in peaceful domain.
What is your advice to a prospective investor in the mining sector in Nigeria and the region?
They must be committed to utilise best international mining procedures which prevents crisis to advance their business. They must be committed to ensuring that mining adds value to the lives of the host community not induce poverty and disease.
What will be your message at the event?
That the organisers continue to persevere for there is light around the tunnel very soon. Mining is no longer an alternative; it should take the main stage in our national discourse knowing that the green technology revolution is pushing hydrocarbon to the background. Cashew will soon displace the cost of oil.