Collapsed mining pit: FG vows to enforce insurance cover

The federal government has vowed that from now onward, insurance cover would be enforced for all miners across the country.

This was disclosed on Friday by the minister of solid minerals development, Dr Dele Alake while on a solidarity visit to Governor Umar Bago of Niger state in behalf of President Bola Tinubu.

It could be recalled that on Wednesday, a mining pit collapsed in Galadima Kogo, Shiroro local government area of the state in which scores were trapped. While many were rescued, several deaths were recorded.

“I bring the condolences and sympathies of Mr President to the families of victims, those injured, the entire community and the government and people of Niger state on the mine pit collapse.
“It is unfortunate and avoidable. Though we learned the disaster was due to heavy downpour, we are committed to intensifying the monitoring of mining operations to ensure conformity to environmental standards,” Alake stated.

He commended the state government for swiftly mobilising emergency rescue operations in collaboration with federal agencies, stressing that all efforts must be made to rescue those still trapped.

To enhance safety measures and provide relief to miners and their families in the event of accidents, Dr Alake declared that henceforth, insurance policies for miners across the country would be enforced.

He also emphasized federal government’s stance that remediation plans must accompany mining license applications, stating that irresponsible mining operations posing threats to the environment and communities would no longer be tolerated.
“We must also put in place contingency plans to mitigate the impact of natural disasters on mining sites by making the installation of support pillars under shafts mandatory. This practice is common in other countries,” he added.

Governor Bago expressed gratitude to President Tinubu for the condolence visit and emphasized the need for a concerted effort between the federal government and subnationals to ensure mining companies comply with safety standards.

Citing the preponderance of commercially viable critical minerals in the state, Gov Bago appealed to the federal government to focus on making the state the pivot of developing the nation’s mining sector.

Both of them later went to see some victims recuperating at IBB Specialist Hospital where on behalf of the president, he announced a donation of N50 million to assist affected patients and their families.