The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, on Wednesday, said efforts have reached an advanced stage to put a stop to all illegal mining operations within the territory due to the dangers such activities posed to the health of residents in the communities.
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Anthony Ogunleye, and made available to journalists in Abuja, the minister stated this during his visit alongside top echelon of the ministry to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
He decried the situation where a mining company, without obtaining the proper permits from the relevant authorities, began gold mining operations in Kutasa community of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) with the tendency of polluting the community’s water source.
According to him: “What they saw is something of great concern to us as an administration, particularly because in our records, we had no inkling whatsoever that the company was even granted a mining lease to prospect for gold in an area within the FCT and the company went ahead and entered into agreements with the local communities without the knowledge of the traditional structure, as well as the local government administration structure.
All these, obviously, are wrong, because they are totally against existing policy of mining”, It is illegal mining.
Malam Bello also disclosed that the FCTA was also in discussion with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to improve the quality of the wáter of Jabi lake in Abuja.
According to the minister, population expansion coupled with human activity has compromised the water quality of the Lake which is entirely manmade and draws its supply from the Katampe Hills.
“I want to assure you that the FCT has keyed into it and I thank you for implementing the policy in some of our communities jointly with my colleague the Minister of State and I assure you that we will continue with this partnership and also take it a step further by deploying public toilets at appropriate locations, based on the conversation that is already ongoing between your Ministry and the FCTA.” *
Earlier, the Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Sulaiman Adamu thanked the minister for the visit, commending the FCTA for its action regarding the mining activities at Kutasa community.
He said that issues of water pollution emanating from mining activities was of great concern to his ministry considering the issue of lead poisoning in Niger State as a result of mining activities in 2016.