Officials investigate activities of miners in Ijeshaland, Osun State

The House of Representatives on Wednesday unveiled plans to curb the activities of unauthorized minors operating across Ijeshaland in Osun state.

The resolution was passed following the passage of a motion sponsored by the Deputy Chairman of the House Policing Committee, the Hon. Lawrence Babatunde Ayeni, who said he was gravely concerned about the displacement of citizens.

In an effort to resolve the issue, the House mandated its Committee on Solid Minerals Development to authenticate the list of authorized and licensed miners in the affected areas.

In his main debate, the Hon. Ayeni who requested the intervention of the Chamber observed that the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act was promulgated on March 16, 2007, to regulate the exploration and exploitation of solid minerals in Nigeria.

“The Chamber also notes that the law confers control over all Nigerian properties and minerals to the state and prohibits unauthorized exploration or exploitation of minerals.

“The Chamber observes that under the Land Use Act, all land on which minerals have been found in commercial quantities are acquired by the federal government and that any property containing mineral resources passes from the government to the person by whom the mineral resources are legally earned, to their recovery.

“The Chamber is concerned about the reported cases of illegal mining activities taking place in the Ijesha South Federal District of Osun State.

“The Chamber is aware that Llesa, which is part of Ijeshaland, is known to have significant deposits of gold in commercial quantities and other minerals in considerable proportions.

“The Chamber is concerned that in recent years some unverified individuals and companies have embarked on exploration activities across the Ijeshaland, and their activities have caused untold suffering to the villagers who have been forcibly displaced and dispossessed of their land by miners.

“The Chamber is also concerned that the excavation of the area may expose the population to environmental risks / natural disasters such as landslides, earthquakes, erosion, sinkhole formation, loss of biodiversity and contamination of soil, water. groundwater and surface water by chemicals released during mining processes.

“The House is concerned that if the necessary measures are not put in place to control illegal mining, it may result in a breach of law and order, as the original inhabitants of Ijeshaland who are deprived of access to their heritage can engage in self-help to recover their land, ”noted Hon Ayeni.

To this end, the House has mandated its Committee on Solid Minerals Development to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to identify authorized and licensed miners in the Federal District of Ijesha South and to make report within 6 weeks for further legislation.


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