A senior academician with the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Joseph Itah Omada, has called on the government at all levels to provide adequate security to developers of solid minerals at all the stages of mining activities.
According to a statement by the Director, Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Sheme, Omada, a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences of the university, stated this while presenting the 21st Inaugural Lecture of the NOUN Thursday in Abuja.
Speaking on the topic, “AAVs of Environment of Development of Solid Minerals,” he said accessing and assessing solid minerals “can only be undertaken in a secure environment.”
He said most of the solid minerals were hidden underground in areas that were otherwise inaccessible, adding that “until access is made into a mineral occurrence and assessment is positive based on its content or value for either domestic or international market, there cannot be development of the deposit or ore.”
Omada, a professor of geology, canvassed for support for the regulatory agencies in charge of mining activities in order to perform their functions.
The lecturer, who believed that many more locations of ore minerals would be discovered in the country, suggested that “mineral windows should be opened in each branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the states of the federation to purchase and bank all metals and precious/semi precious stones mined in Nigeria.”
He also suggested that all metals and associated minerals should be purchased at international rates from miners within the vicinity of extraction.
While calling on the government to employ modern geophysical equipment for exploration, the erudite scholar advised that “environmental reclamation
should be made mandatory for all companies involved in solid mineral development and extraction.”
In his remarks, the NOUN vice-chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters, commended Omada for his erudition, saying, “Nigeria is the most endowed country with mineral resources but it has always been difficult to bring them out.”
“After they have sighted it, who will now make it improved so that you can get the value?”