Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, on Wednesday, inaugurated the State’s Minerals Regulations and Environmental Management Committee.
Oyetola, during the inauguration in Oshogbo, said that the committee was saddled with responsibilities of sanitising the state’s resource climate.
It is also to resolve the extant challenges being faced on the mining sites and affected communities.
The governor said that the appointment and inauguration of the committee were in line with the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act 2007, which empowered the committee to oversee the regulation of the entire mining operations in the state.
He said they were also to discuss and advise the Minister of Solid Minerals on matters affecting encroachment, trespass, security, social unrest, pollution and environmental degradation of any land on which any mineral was being extracted as it related to all licence holders within the state.
”The inauguration of this committee is another major step towards lifting our state out of economic misery and re-defining our socioeconomic life as a state.
“As a government, we have resolved to erect a solid structure for driving our resource-blessed state and delivering resource boom,” he said.
Oyetola said the state recognised that the exploration and exploitation of solid minerals are on the Exclusive Legislative list of the Federal Government.
He said it must, however, also note that Osun had been faced with the excruciating challenge of environmental degradation, arising from lack of environmental and ecological literacy on the part of the local communities.
This, he said, was coupled with irresponsible and unprofessional mining by licensed and illegal miners.
The governor urged the committee members to educate and sensitise the people on ecological literacy through town hall and media interventions.
He said that most recently, the Osun river had been polluted with heavy metals and other contaminants, thereby threatening investments in the water sector.
” Our land is also littered with an array of abandoned mining sites that require decommissioning and reclamation.
” I hereby call on this committee to rise to the occasion and ensure this ugly trend is reversed now,” Oyetola said.