FG Suspends Mining Activities At OAU, Environs


Apr 16, 2024

The federal government has suspended further mining activities within Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals (OAUTH) complex in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

The minister of solid minerals development, Dr. Dele Alake, who declared the indefinite suspension, said the order will be in place pending the conclusion of investigations into suspected illegal mining around the university, its teaching hospital, and environs.

In a statement by the special assistant to the mnister, Segun Tomori, Dr Alake said the action followed reports in certain sections of the media about activities of illegal miners within the precincts of the university, adding that the ministry had immediately swung into action to ascertain the veracity of the allegations.
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“Following the outcry generated by reports of illegal mining or suspicion of nefarious activities by mining operators within OAU, we immediately deployed officials of the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) and Mines Inspectorate for on-the-spot assessment. Preliminary reports that reached me indicated that there were indeed some activities around the premises. The ministry then stopped all activities, whether legal or illegal, for further investigations,” the Minister asserted.

Speaking further, Alake revealed that upon summoning some operators discovered to be carrying out illegal activities, they presented some licences and letters of consent which necessitated further investigations to ascertain its authenticity, hence the imperative of inviting the university authorities for a parley.

“We have a had a very fruitful meeting, and a lot of facts have come out of it. Based on the outcome of the meeting, I announce the indefinite suspension, with immediate effect, all mining activities within the premises of the University, the University teaching hospital and in fact around the area and boundaries of the university, until the conclusion of thorough investigations,” the Minister added.
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In his response, OAU vice chancellor, Prof Adebayo Bamire, expressed gratitude to the Minister for the audience, highlighting the capacity of the university to play an active role in exploration, research, and other sectors of the mining value chain.

“We have some of the best geologists and mining professionals in the country.

We feel that we need to set up a sort of excellent research and training facility on mineral resources within the university. If we are able to get that in the university, it will help usq support the university community, the state, and ultimately contribute to the development of the mining sector,” the VC added.
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The Vice-chancellor also revealed that the university applied for an exploration licence, expressing optimism that with the anticipated approval, the University will be able to carry out exploration, discover the distribution and quality of mineral resources within the university environs and across the country.

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