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Senate Probes Death Of 30 Miners In Niger

Posted by Samuel on Thu 06th Jun, 2024 - tori.ng

The committee was mandated by the red chamber to ascertain the remote and immediate cause of the rockslide and accelerate the passage of the Mine Ranger Bill currently before the Senate.

Senate

On Thursday, June 6, the Senate instructed its solid minerals committee to carry out an on-the-spot evaluation of the gold mining site in Niger State, where a rockslide tragically claimed the lives of 30 miners.

The committee was mandated by the red chamber to ascertain the remote and immediate cause of the rockslide and accelerate the passage of the Mine Ranger Bill currently before the Senate.

This is even as the Senate observed a minute silence in honour of the victims.

It commended the minister of solid minerals, Dele Alake, for his swift and proactive response in monitoring the situation at the Mining site.

The Red Chamber also urged the federal government to “come out with strict safety measures and regulation on mining activities in Nigeria in line with international best practices and deploy adequate security apparatus to the mining communities to maintain vigilance around mining areas to prevent further incursions and intrusion by informal miners.”

Besides, the Senate urged the National Emergency Management Agency and other relevant agencies of government to expedite actions on the recovery of the remains of the deceased in the catastrophe to ensure that the bereaved families can have final closure.”

These resolutions by the Senate followed its consideration and adoption of a motion titled: “Urgent need to address the incident of the rockslide that buried alive over 30 informal miners in a gold mining site in Farin Doki Community, Shiroro local government, Niger State” during plenary.

The motion was sponsored by Senator Sani Musa (APC -Niger East).

Senator Musa in his lead debate said the Senate: Notes that on Monday, 3rd June 2024, a catastrophic rockslide occurred at the open-pit gold mine, which led to at least over 30 local/informal miners being buried alive in the Farin Doki Community, near Erena in Shiroro Local Government, located within the Niger East Senatorial District of Niger State.

He said the miners, in their quests for gold and lithium minerals, met their untimely deaths, as the avalanche caved in, burying them under tons of rubbles.

Musa said that the unfortunate and tragic incident underscored the urgent need for comprehensive and holistic action to be taken in order to frontally address the dangers faced and posed by local mining activities taking place across the country;

He noted that in view of the vast mineral resources in the region, “it is imperative to secure the mining site in order to forestall future occurrence and avoid further loss of life.

“This will go a long way to ensure that mining activities are conducted safely and legally to prevent future tragedies and improve the overall well-being of miners across the country.

“Worried that the bodies of the deceased, who are victims of this unfortunate event, are yet to be recovered for proper and dignified burial by their respective families.

“To this end, conscious efforts should be made by relevant agencies of government for the recovery of the bodies of the deceased for burial.

“Aware that at a time like this Nigeria is desirous of diversifying its economy, the mining sub-sector is lucrative enough and should be adequately exploited for the socio-economic development of this country.


“At such, the appropriate authorities should as a matter of urgency and necessity, initiate a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident so as to identify any existing lapses as they relate to safety regulations and enforcement in the sector.

“And as part of remedies to bring sanity to the system, strict regulations should be introduced to protect the lives of those who depend on this industry for their livelihood.

“It is also apt for the relevant Committees of the National Assembly to step up the oversight mining activities taking place across the country, for the purpose of harnessing the benefits that abound in the mining sector.”


Senators in their contributions supported the motion and approved the prayers when they were put to voice vote by Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin.



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