CTA’s move to promote responsible mining in FCT gets NEITI’s backing


By Michael Oche 

Effort by Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) to train community leaders in the FCT in negotiating better agreements with mining companies operating in their communities, has received a boost, as the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has pledged to provide technical support for the project
NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya made the pledge on Friday in Abuja when he played host to the CTA team led by its executive director, Faith Nwadishi at his office.
The NEITI boss expressed his Agency’s commitment to support CTA with data and resource materials connected to extractive mining in the FCT.
According to him, NEITI will give technical support in training the communities in drafting and negotiating quality community development agreements.
Over correspondent reports that CTA with support from MacArthur Foundation through CHRICED is leading an advocacy campaign that seeks to amplify the voices of the Original Inhabitants of Abuja demanding for best environmental practices by mining companies most especially the preservation of cultural sites and heritage
Speaking earlier, CTA executive director Faith Nwadishi said a baseline survey carried out by her organisation reveals that mostly quarry activities are going on in Area council in FCT and most of the community members are not carried along on the Community Development Agreement process.
She said the study also revealed that some of the communities who indicated that they have an agreement with the mining companies complained about the mining companies not meeting up with the terms of agreement on the contract.
According to her, one of the implications of this practice is lack of monitoring by the government to check the compliance of these mining companies to the community development agreement and sanctions put in place for any mining company who does not operate based on what is on the contract.
She said, “While interacting with communities, we found that communities lack the appropriate skills on negotiation for Community Development Agreements hence negotiating a good contract by communities is a challenge.
“The process leading to the signing of the agreement is shrouded in secrecy, inclusion of confusing clauses that are of no benefit to the communities and generally, promotes opacity, environmental degradation and of no tangible economic benefit to the communities.”
She said further that, “Looking at these worrisome statistics, the basis for our concerns and asks are therefore formed. CTA would appreciate a situation where;
 extractive mining activities are carried out responsibly in such a manner that the people’s cultural sites and heritage is protected and preserved for the future generation; That Mining companies be transparent and disclose their actual accruals and taxes remitted to government
“That mining companies adhere to the provisions of Community Development Agreements, capacities of communities are built on negotiating a good contract in order to achieve an implementable CDA”