NGO Decries Illegal Mining Activities In Osun State
Osogbo – An indigenous non-governmental organization (NGO), Hope for Family Development Initiative (HFDI), has lamented the alarming rate of illegal mining activities across Osun State.
The Osun-based NGO described the scenario as worrisome as it identified the illicit activity as a major source of revenue leakage to the state and Federal Government alike.
A statement by Stephen Aremu, the NGO’s Executive Director, called on the Federal Ministry of Mines and Solid Mineral Development, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and Osun State government to urgently take necessary measures to halt the activity.
Aremu recalled that Nigeria lost a whopping $9billion to the export of proceeds of illegal mining activities between 2014 and 2015 as disclosed in a recent report by the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
His words: “Despite the fact that Osun State is rich in solid minerals such as clay, granite, talc, tourmaline, dolomite, gold, ilmenite, feldspar, quartz, limestone, mica, among others, the state has nothing to show for it, her people still wallow in poverty and penury”.
He listed Atakumosa-West, Atakumosa-East, Ayedade, Ayedire, Boluwaduro, Boripe, Ede-North, Ede-South, Egbedore, Ejigbo and Ifedayo among local government areas that are endowed with solid minerals in the state.
Others, according to him, include Ifelodun, Ife- Central, Ife-North, Ife-South, Ife-East, Ila, Ilesa, Ilesa-West, Irepodun, Irewole, Isokan, Iwo, Obokun, Odo-Otin, Olaoluwa, Oriade, Orolu, Osogbo and Olorunda.
He noted that when the mining industry is judiciously explored, it would raise the bar of Osun state economy and impact positively on residents of communities where they are deposited.
Aremu said the time is now for Osun State government to take mining sector serious and begin to enjoy 13 percent derivation like other mineral-producing states, given her meagre internally generated revenue (IGR) and dwindling federal allocations.
“Our organization, Hope for Family Development Initiative (HFDI) is prepared to work and collaborate with governments and her agencies, relevant stakeholders and development partners in this direction.
“NEITI, being a global initiative and Federal Government parastatal, is capable of assisting Osun State government in the development of her mineral resources for the good of the state and the nation”, Aremu stated.