A non- governmental organisation, Global Rights, and the Federation of Nigerian Mining Host Communities, have tasked government on social safeguards, environmental and socioeconomic sustainability of Nigeria’s mining host communities.
They also decried the “exploitation” and environmental degradation experienced in communities across the country.
They made the demand in a communiqué issued, Friday in Abuja, at the end of a two-day summit, which had in attendance representatives of mining host communities from the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
Addressing journalists, the Executive Director of Global Rights (Nigeria), Abiodun Baiyewu, said host communities should hold government accountable for effects of mining activities in their communities.
She said: “This event is basically the inauguration of the Federation of Nigerian Mining Host Communities so that the communities can by themselves begin to advocate their issues directly with government and other stakeholders.
“Many of them lack the capacity to do what they want to. Therefore, we want to ensure a joint effort in order for them to take a hold of them.
“However, government can intervene in the issues affecting the communities. In fact, the job of the federation is to hold government accountable for what they should do for these communities. We hope they will take forward this laudable project.”
Also speaking, the Executive Director of Neighbourhood Environment Watch Foundation (NEWF), Dr Okezie Kelechukwu, said mining companies took advantage of the ignorance of the host communities to exploit them, even as he implored government to intervene.