Probe Dangote’s human right abuses in coal mining communities, group tells FG

 THE Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) and 350Africa on Monday asked the Federal Government to probe reported human right abuses on coal mining communities, particularly attributed to the Dangote Coalmine in Kogi State.

The group also urged government to stop issuance of coal mining licenses to private investors to reduce environmental degradation.

In a report released today to commemorate the 2020 AfricaDay, Kogi leads with eight coal blocks while Enugu state has six from 28 coal blocks across 12 states in the country.

Though, coal mining is currently active in Kogi and Gombe, the government has intensified the exploration of the raw material to generate 30 per cent of its energy mix despite its commitment to the Paris Agreement to reducing carbon emission.

The power shift arrangement was agreed upon in 2016 by the Federal Ministry of Power and Ministry Mine and Steel Development.

Coal laden vehicle (Left) on the main access road to Dangote Coal Mine in Onupi Village.
Photo Credit: Olugbenga Adanikin, The ICIR

But the Non-profit organisations insist that the extractive exercise was contributing to emissions of greenhouse gases, stressing that Dangote Cement runs one of the largest coal mines in Africa to generate over 50 per cent of its energy need to power the cement factory, located in Kogi.

The report identified some of the concerns to include lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), flawed Community development agreement, polluted water of host communities, land and land degradation, air pollution through clouds of dust and smokes.

“The FG should immediately investigate and correct the human rights violations in coal mining communities in Nigeria, particularly in Onupi, Okobo and Maiganga.

“There is an urgent need to review the CDA signed between the coal mining communities…and to urgently develop one in communities where there is none,” the report stated.

The ICIR had earlier written a two-part report on the operation of the mining company.

    The report exposed several pollutions of the ecosystem and farmlands, causing harms to the rural dwellers.

    The Federal Ministry of Environment, however, directed its regulatory agency to investigate the matter but as of today, no formal report has been published.

    The report also urged the environment ministry to conduct an immediate EIA on all coal mining sites in the country.

    “Dangote industries should urgently review its operations and ensure its operations adhere to the United Nations Guiding principle on Business and Human Rights,”  the group insists.

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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