Mining Engineers urges Federal Government to enforce ILO’s resolution on Child Labour

The Nigerian Society of Mining Engineers (NSME) has requested the Federal Government (FG) to halt child labour in the mining field, through the enforcement of the resolutions of the International Labour Organisation on Child Labour.

The request is part of other resolutions reached at the end of the 20th Annual General Meeting and the international conference of the society in Gombe State.

Reading the resolutions at the event, the General Secretary Mr Anthony Ojile, said the AGM advised the FG to leverage the impact of the junior mining Company economic diversifications through mineral exploration, mining and value addition to facilitate the attraction of junior mining companies into Nigeria mining sector.

It urged the FG to ensure total compliance with environmental monitoring and enforcement provision with respect to mineral exploration, mining, value addition and environmental concerns.

The NSME commended the FG for identifying the mining and mineral sector as the key drivers for national development through her economic diversification Programme.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, called on all mining engineers, mineral processing engineers, metallurgical engineers, who are members of the Nigerian Society of Mining Engineers to contribute innovative engineering solutions that would promote the development of the mining sector.

He also urged them to develop mine design models that could be adopted by Artisanal or small-scale miners to ensure safer mining and efficiency of mineral production operation to guarantee environmental sustainability.

The Minister further urged the NSME to come up with engineering techniques to enhance the scaling up of small scale miners’ operations to become large scale mining operations, where large skill and unskilled labour could be gainfully employed.

Mr Adegbite said the ministry, in line with the diversification drive of the Federal Government, had embarked on strategic reforms to ensure that mineral development brings about the expected benefits in the Nigerian economy.

Some of the reforms include strengthening of the critical mineral sector institutions, restructuring of the Solid Mineral Development Fund, generating reliable geoscience data, application of digital processes in the governance of the sector, advancing the formalisation of informal mining operations in Nigeria, skills building for employment and sustainable livelihood, improving the environmental impact and the establishment of mineral processing clusters in the six zones in the country.

The Minister, who was represented by Mr Obadiah Simon Nkom, said the objective of the mineral processing clusters was to minimise the export of the mineral commodities in their crude form.

“The ultimate objective of the mineral processing clusters is to minimise the export of mineral commodities in crude form by creating value along the chain of our mined mineral products to increase industrial and manufacturing activities, create employment and foster skills development,” the Minister said.

The President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Prof.

Benson Jatau, on behalf of the society, appealed to the Federal Government to reconsider its views on the Nigerian Mineral Development Corporation Bill, which proposes its headquarters in Abuja, instead of a mining hub.

Prof.

Jatau said there was the need to avoid duplication of mandates, as such mandates of existing agencies should be left out of the mandate of the proposed organisation unless the aim is to merge the agencies.

He said the security of humans and machinery involved in the discovery and exploration, extraction and beneficiation of the mineral resources/deposits could lead to the development and transformation of the mineral potential into veritable drivers of Nigeria’s economic diversification for wealth and jobs creation and better living standards.

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, who was awarded an honorary Fellowship, lauded the society for choosing Gombe for the conference.

Represented by the Commissioner of Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr.

Shehu Ibrahim Madugu, Governor Yahaya, said the government was working seriously to conclude the aspect of setting up a Modula Refinery in Gombe State, at the Coal Mining Hydrocarbon.

He said there was the need to imbibe value addition and processing activities before the export of such minerals outside, as well as inviting both local and foreign companies to establish mineral processing facilities in Nigeria, to take advantage of the huge market in the country and West Africa as a whole.

“In this regard, we urge the Federal Government to promote value addition activities and proliferation of mineral-based industries in the country.

The country should develop a deliberate policy for the development of industrial mineral for local industries, as well as give the mining industries specific incentives to encourage investments and minimise associated risks in the sector,” said Governor Yahaya.

He said his administration had signed an MoU with a Chinese Consortium to develop 600 megawatts of electricity adding that this would be in phases.

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Mining Engineers urges Federal Government to enforce ILO’s resolution on Child Labour

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