Abuja Tremor: FG Confirms Suspension of Mining Activities

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Pic. 4. Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bwari (M) addressing a news conference in Abuja on Friday (22/6/18), on lead poisoning associated with artisanal gold mining, with special focus on prevention. With him is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Abdulkadri Muazu (L) and Deputy Head of Mission in Nigeria, Doctors Without Borders, Holland Section, Dr Simba Tirima. 03341/22/6/2018/Hogan Bassey/BJO/NAN

By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

 The federal government has confirmed the suspension of all blasting activities in and around the affected areas that experienced minor earth tremor last week at Mpape, Abuja.

 The Minister of 0Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bawa Bwari, at the weekend hinted that the federal government, through his ministry, ordered the suspension in order to enable the team of experts put together by the ministry to investigate the incidence do a thorough job. 

Bwari, in a statement by his media aide, Ishaku Kigbu, in Abuja, noted that “getting to the root of the cause of what triggered the tremor would be better achieved without further blasting activities around the affected areas.”

According to him, “Even though l would not say the tremor experienced may have anything to do with excavations around the affected areas until investigations are completed remembering that two years ago there was an incidence like that in Kwoi, in Southern Kaduna, it is better to suspend all mining and blasting activities around affected areas until investigations by experts ascertain its cause.

“They have taken samples to aid their job, and there was a need by the government to stop all excavations and other mining activities to enable them do a good job.”

The minister said considering that the world is experiencing climate change, some of the unusual incidents could be natural occurrences not envisaged, adding that the government had proactively acquired some geoscientific detecting equipment to detect such happenings, and was in the process of installing them when the Abuja incidence occurred.

 He added: “The good news is that Nigeria geographically is not on the lane of earthquakes but we are not relenting since the world, considering climate change, unexpected things are bound to happen where they ought not to, and the six geo science equipment, when installed, will go a long way in detecting such natural occurrences while not ruling out elements of human induced activities.”

 Bwari further hinted that there is no conclusion yet on the matter since investigation is ongoing, but cannot also rule out human induced activities, adding that “we may not have control over some of these occurrences, but our control mechanism remains that mining is done under best practices.”

He advised Nigerians not to panic, saying: “Luckily, we have not gotten to the trend where mining would be seen as dangerous in Nigeria.

 “We are not located in such dangerous zone. Our men went to the affected areas and checked but no quakes or cracks were found.”