Tuesday, May 21, 2024

FG suspends mining activities in OAU, environs indefinitely

The minister announced the suspension pending investigations into suspected illegal mining activities in OAU and its environs.

• April 16, 2024
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)

The federal government has indefinitely suspended mining activities within the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) campus and the OAU Teaching Hospital complex in Ile-Ife, Osun.

This is pending investigations into suspected illegal mining activities in the area.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, announced the suspension shortly after meeting with the OAU management, led by the vice-chancellor, Adebayo Bamire, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had called for investigations into reports of illegal mining activities at OAU.

The president of the NANS Senate, Segun Elvis, said that the activities posed a significant threat to the safety and well-being of the institution`s students and staff.

Similarly, the National Association of University Students, OAU chapter, condemned the development and called for appropriate actions by relevant authorities to address the situation.

In response, the school management submitted a formal complaint to the relevant government authorities for prompt action.

The minister stated that, following the reports, officials of the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) and the Mines Inspectorate were deployed to the institution for an on-site assessment and preliminary investigations.

“Preliminary reports that reached me indicated that there were indeed some activities around the premises. The ministry now orders stoppage of all legal or illegal activities for further investigation,“ the minister said.

Mr Alake said he invited the school authorities to his office when the illegal operators, whom the deployed officials had summoned, presented some licenses and letters of consent regarding their activities.

He said the immediate suspension of the activities was necessary to enable the ministry to verify the authenticity of the documents.

The VC stated that OAU has some of the best geologists and mining professionals in the country, capable of handling exploration, research, and other activities of the mining value chain.


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