By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Quarrying Association of Nigeria has called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency, lift its recent suspension on quarrying activities in the country.
The suspension, recall was imposed by government due to the earth tremor around Mpape and surrounding environments, in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
The chairman of the association, Nasir Ibrahim, made the call during a courtsey visit to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bawa Bwari, in Abuja.
Ibrahim, noted that there was no relationship between the quarrying activities and the recent earth tremor experienced in the FCT.
According to him, the suspension was tantamount to government putting it’s budgeted development of the FCT on hold considering quarry inputs to the overall development projects.
Responding, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bawa Bwari, said the suspension would not be lifted until a report by the inter-ministerial committee set up to investigate the incident is completed and submitted.
Bwari, said: “The suspension of the quarrying activities is not in our interest and not a decision that we wanted to affect you.”
According to him, “We need to be sure of the cause of this earth quake that took place here in abuja because while carrying economic activities there is need to protect the people and the environment.”
He added: “So far, preliminary investigation has shown that it has nothing to do with your activities. However, we have not lifted suspension yet because there is an inter-ministerial committee that was set up that has not submitted it’s report yet. But I’m sure it will be submitted soon.”
He however, acknowledged the importance of quarrying activities in revenue generation and assured the association that, there was no cause for alarm that the suspension will soon be lifted.
On the issue of multiple taxation, in respect to mining activities especially by government agencies and area council, Bwari promised that the ministry is working hard to address the issue.
He urged the association to increase its interaction and communication with the ministry to tackle the challenge