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Nigerian University Shuts Down Mining Operations On Campus

Federal Government Orders Probe into Suspected Illegal Activities

by Victor Adetimilehin

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, has taken a dramatic step by suspending all mining activities on its campus and surrounding areas. This follows reports and complaints alleging illegal mining operations that have caused environmental damage and disrupted the university community.

University Seeks Transparency and Collaboration

OAU’s vice-chancellor, Professor Adebayo Bamire, met with Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake. During the meeting, Professor Bamire advocated for transparency and a potential future for regulated mining on campus. He highlighted the university’s expertise in geology and mining, expressing interest in establishing a research and training facility for the mineral resources sector.

The Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has launched a full investigation into the alleged illegal mining activities. Media reports and complaints from students and residents prompted the ministry to deploy teams from the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency and the Mines Inspectorate to assess the situation on the ground.

Indefinite Suspension Until Investigation Completes

The exact nature and extent of any mining operations, legal or illegal, remain unclear. The university has emphasized that all mining activities are currently on hold. This indefinite suspension will remain in effect until the government’s investigation is complete and the legitimacy of any existing mining licenses is verified.

While the current mining activities are suspended, the university’s application for a mineral exploration license suggests a potential future for regulated mining on campus. However, this hinges entirely on the outcome of the government’s investigation. Transparency and adherence to regulations will be crucial in determining whether such activities can proceed.

Focus on Environmental Protection and Responsible Mining

This situation underscores the importance of responsible mining practices and environmental protection in Nigeria’s mineral resources sector. The Nigerian government’s swift response to the allegations highlights its commitment to tackling illegal mining activities that threaten the environment and surrounding communities.

Students, residents, and the university community await the results of the investigation. They hope for a clear path forward that ensures environmental protection and responsible mining practices. As the investigation progresses, further developments are expected. 

Source: Punch

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