The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has sanctioned no fewer than 20 mining companies in 2016 over non-compliance with Nigeria’s laws and regulations.
Salim Salaam, Director, Mines Environmental Compliance Department said this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday.
Mr. Salaam said that the infractions ranged from failure to conduct Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Community Development Agreement (CDA), Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation Programme (EPRP), first study plan and annual reclamation statement as provided by law
He said that four mining companies were sanctioned in Niger State, eight in Calabar, Cross River, two in Ondo and two in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The director said that some of the affected companies claimed to be new in the industry, while others hinged their inability to comply to the high cost.
“Honestly speaking, the level of mining companies compliance with the ministry’s law and regulation is very low.
“We have started a sensitisation programme across all the zones, educating them on why it is mandatory to adhere to our law to avoid sanctions, ” he said.
The director said the ministry has come up with a new plan to compile list of defaulters, who would be given two months grace to comply before imposing appropriate sanctions.
“Internally, we normally stop violators from operating on sites and they are not allowed to renew their licences.”
Mr. Salaam said that the sanctions provided under the law included a fine of up to N20 million and a five year imprisonment.