The Minister for Solid Minerals Development Dr Oladele Alake has stated that the country is poised to derive maximum socio- economic benefits from a sanitized mining environment through a revised community development agreements in line with international best practices.
Dr Alake made this disclosure while Launching the Ministry’s Revised Guidelines for the Production of Community Development Agreements ( CDAs) in the Solid Minerals Sector, in conjunction with the African Centre For Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD) and, the Ford Foundation.
Elaborating further, the Minister acknowledged the existence of Community Development Agreements in the Solid Minerals Sector as an instrument of promoting harmonious and mutually beneficial relationships between the Mining Companies and their host communities, as enshrined in the NMMA Act 2007.
Dr Alake said :”the very essence of CDA include: to ensure that social and economic benefits of a mining project are transferred to the host Community; increased community participation throughout the life of Development project ; play a valuable role in managing the expectations of stakeholders ie the mining company, the impacted communities, local and national government and non – governmental organizations”.
In spite the successes recorded so far with about 252 companies that signed CDAs, the Minister stated that teething problems of non- compliance by some operators exist coupled with non- realistic demands of communities. These challenges, the Minister noted, lend credence to the revised guidelines to identify and address the issues.
Dr Alake said:” In the course of review of CDA documents submitted by the Mineral Title Holders (MTH) with their host communities over the past 9 years, the Ministry has identified some gaps in the existing CDA Guidelines and due to numerous complaints and petitions from the communities, hence the need for review of the guidelines to meet global best practices…”.
While commending the African Centre for Leadership , Strategy and Development for collaborating with the Ministry for the review; the Minister affirmed that ” the main objective of launch is to create awareness on the importance of a community development agreement for sustainable mineral resources development in our dear country, NIGERIA”.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Solid Minerals/Steel Development, Dr Mary Ogbe said” today’s event is to formally launch the revised Guidelines for the Production of Community Development Agreements and also sensitize the mining stakeholders and general public on the need for sustainable mineral resources development in Nigeria.
During the occasion, various partnering organizations like the African Centre for Leadership Strategy & Development, Women In Mining (WIMIN) & traditional rulers in the fct, Abuja delivered goodwill messages.