Osun State, a state rich in natural resources, has recently embarked on renewing partnerships with Segilola Resources Operating Limited to harness the potential benefits of the mining industry. While this collaboration holds promise for economic growth, concerns have emerged regarding the outcomes of the recent meeting between the State Governor and Segilola Resources Operating Limited. As an Ijesa born, I am advising the Executive Governor, HE Senator Jackson Nurudeen Ademola ADELEKE by delving into the intricacies of this partnership, shedding light on the need for inclusivity, transparent Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices, and environmental considerations.
(1.) THE IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL EXPERTISE
The mining industry is complex, and local expertise is invaluable for navigating the intricate landscape of community dynamics and cultural considerations.
(2.) CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND JOB OPPORTUNITIES
While Segilola Resources Operating Limited has undertaken certain CSR initiatives, the focus on petty jobs such as security, food vending, and cleaning positions is a cause for concern. The host communities are seeking meaningful employment opportunities aligned with their skill sets, such as engineering and other mining-related occupations. This brings into question whether the company is fully leveraging its international experience to the benefit of the communities or merely exploiting the local workforce for menial tasks.
MR Governor, please come to our AID!
(3.) TRANSPARENCY IN CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
To ensure accountability, it is imperative that Segilola Resources Operating Limited provides a detailed account of their CSR initiatives in the host communities and Ijesaland at large. The lack of transparency in this regard raises doubts about the company’s commitment to genuinely contributing to the well-being of the communities. A comprehensive report would not only address these concerns but also serve as a benchmark for evaluating the impact of their initiatives.
(4.) EXPLORATION OPERATIONS AND LAND USE
The significant profits generated by Segilola Resources Operating Limited from gold mining operations as published by them are commendable. However, the fact that 80% of these operations occur on communal farmlands has sparked legal disputes. Land owners are contesting dubious agreements, alleging coercion and lack of fair compensation. This raises ethical questions about the company’s approach to securing mining rights and the impact of their activities on local livelihoods.
(5.) INCLUSION IN MIREMCO COMMITTEE
To address these issues, it is recommended that the Osun State Government takes immediate steps to include Ijesa people in the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO). This committee plays a pivotal role in monitoring exploration and mining processes, ensuring adherence to global practices, and preventing any unfavorable incidents. The recent events in Ibadan, Oyo State, serve as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of neglecting such oversight.
(6.) ENGAGING WITH THE IJESA MINERAL RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT FORUM
A proactive approach involves scheduling a meeting between the Osun State Government and the Ijesa Mineral Resources Development Forum. This forum, representing the interests of the local communities and Ijesaland at large can provide valuable insights into their experiences with exploration activities since 2020. Their perspective, rooted in on-the-ground realities, will contribute to informed decision-making and foster a collaborative environment for sustainable development.
(7.) ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS AND WATER POLLUTION
Beyond economic and social considerations, environmental concerns must not be overlooked. The Ijesa Mineral Resources Development Forum has conducted studies revealing water pollution in Osun State. The forum possesses evidence in the form of samples, which they are willing to present during a scheduled meeting with the government. Addressing these environmental challenges is not only crucial for the health and well-being of the communities but also for sustaining the region’s natural resources.
Conclusively! Your Excellency Sir, the success of Osun State’s mining ventures hinges on transparent and inclusive partnerships. The concerns raised by the Ijesa communities underscore the importance of considering local expertise, ensuring transparent CSR practices, and mitigating the environmental impact of mining activities. The Osun State Government must take decisive action to address these concerns, fostering a collaborative and equitable environment that will benefit both the communities and the state at large. By heeding these recommendations, Osun State can set a precedent for responsible and sustainable mining practices, ensuring a prosperous and harmonious future for all stakeholders involved.
Thank you and God bless Osun State
Adebusuyi Tobiloba ADELEYE
Immediate Past National Vice-President, Ijesa Youth Forum Natl. Hdqtrs