BUA’s Petition: An Attempt To Blackmail Ministry Into Granting Illegal Activities…Ministry

BUA’s Petition: An Attempt To Blackmail Ministry Into Granting Illegal Activities…Ministry

SAM OLUWALANA

The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, has described the petition written by the managemnet of BUA, against its Minister as an unwarranted campaign of calumny and an attempt it to support its (BUA) illegal operations.

In a statement titled; “Our position on BUA group’s misleading publication’, signed and released by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Mohammed Abass, the Ministry absolved itself of any wrongdoing in the issue whipped by the company.

The statement added that the company despite not having a valid mining lease to operate on the disputed area, still persisted in its illegal activities in the site, with the collusion of some security agents.

 The statement reads;  ” The publication which is an unwarranted campaign of calumny against the Ministry and the office of the Honourable Minister, is nothing but an attempt by the cement company to blackmail the Ministry into granting a free pass for illegal operations.

”While the Ministry does not intend to join issues with the BUA Group which has an enviable

history of industrial performance, we deem it appropriate, however, to state the facts for the

purpose of enlightening members of the public as follows:

” In the records of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the Nigerian

Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), the BUA Group, does not have a mining lease

over the contentious site No. 2541ML. Therefore, its mining activities there are

illegal.

” The Ministry stands by the Stop Work Order issued to the BUA Group and

signed by the Permanent Secretary, dated 17 th October 2017. The letter was issued

after thorough investigation confirmed that the BUA Group was indeed engaging

in illegal mining of marble/limestone at a mine pit located on Geographical

Coordinates N07 0 21’ 47.4” E006 0 26’ 51.8’, while the Run-of- Mine (ROM) is

stockpiled at an area with geographical coordinates N07 0 21’ 48.4”; E006 0

26’37.2”

” Clarification provided by the Mining Cadastre Office shows that the coordinates

of the Mine pit and ROM stockpile area fall wholly within the area of mining

Lease No 2541ML belonging to Messrs Dangote Industries Limited.

”The Ministry had earlier in 2015 issued a Stop Work Order on this same disputed

site but the BUA Group disregarded the order and went ahead with its illegal

mining activities, under heavy cover of armed soldiers, policemen and men of the

Civil Defence Corps.

”The Management of BUA also resisted the enforcement of the latest Stop Work

Order issued on October 17 th , 2017 using a combination of armed militia, soldiers

and policemen to obstruct the team from the ministry in effecting the Stop Work

Order.

 

The Ministry also added that BUA’s continued operations in the contentious area is a breach of extant laws and miming acts in the country, even as it restated its commitment to promoting local and global investments in the country, through due process.

” While BUA Group in its publication admitted the fact that a suit over the

ownership of the site was pending in a court of competent jurisdiction, the Group,

however continued with its illegal mining activities on the site, which in itself is

subjudice to both the court and the Mining Act 2007, which guides mining

activities in the country.

” While the Ministry restates its commitment to promoting local and global

investments in the Nigerian mining sector, it has always maintained that due

process must be followed, especially in line with the provisions of the Minerals

and Mining Act 2007. This, we shall not compromise”.