For a Safer Earth, Healthier Climate

Mines Ministry Launch Revised Guidelines for CDA

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja

The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development yesterday, launched a revised guideline for community development agreement, (CDA)

Speaking at the launch, the  minister of solid minerals development, Dele Henry Alake,  said the very essence of CDA includes that It is a requirement of the Law in accordance with Section 116 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and Section 193 of the Regulations, 2011, to promote healthy and mutual beneficial relationships between Mining Companies and their host communities, Mechanisms for promoting social licence to mine, To prevent and manage conflict and to ensure that social and economic benefits of a mining project are transferred to the host community among others

He stated that “Since the inception of the Act, the Ministry has through the Mines Environmental Compliance Department continued to make demands on the Companies for the conclusion of the CDA and has carried out several sensitization programmes to foster stakeholders’ engagement in CDA negotiations that will ensure transfer of social benefits to host communities as well as social licence for the Mineral Title Holders to operate in a peaceful, secure and conducive business environment; this approach has yielded a win-win situation for all stakeholders” he said

According to Alake “So far, the Ministry has recorded increased compliance level in the implementation of CDA covenants by MTH through field monitoring, enlightenment, education and sensitization exercises.

He noted that lots of successes have been recorded in the signing of CDA between Mining Operators and their respective Host Communities, he revealed that  

“‘Presently, about 252 Companies have signed CDAs with their host communities with projects things like provision of boreholes, electricity, schools, health centres, road constructions and scholarships according to identified needs of their host communities.

He however stated there are still some companies that are yet to comply with the provision of this Section of the Act and the Ministry is not relenting on its enforcement to ensure that all MTHs comply accordingly.

“As we count our successes as a Ministry, there are also some challenges hindering the CDA processes in some communities, these are; Misconception of the CDA and Consent Agreement signed with the original Land Owners, the overbearing influence of the traditional rulers and chiefs  and also that some communities make heavy demands that are impossible for the companies to achieve

He added that some companies also take undue advantage of some communities and provide very little that is normally not commiserated to what the Company is getting from their mining operations, adding that Many Companies including big ones have blatantly refused to sign CDAs.

“The  concept of CDA has been introduced in the Solid Minerals Sector to promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship between the Mining companies and their host communities, to forestall the repeat of social crises experienced in the Niger/Delta by the Oil Sector” he added

The minister stated that with the Communities becoming more aware and vocal with regard to their socio-economic benefits from mining companies, their expectations for immediate and future benefits have increased, also noting that the mining companies are now more concerned about the need and means by which to obtain and sustain their social licenses to operate as well as for community support.

“Therefore, the CDAs are increasingly being used by mining companies as a means to better define their relationships and obligations with their host Communities. It readily provides a means of strengthening and advancing their relationship. The general visions of a Community Development Agreement (CDA), therefore, are:

“As you are aware, Mining projects have the potential to impact the communities in which they are domiciled positively and negatively. While the positive effects are desirable, the negative ones are often met with incessant complaints and sometimes resistance which may lead to forceful closure or suspension of activities in the mines.

In her vote of thanks, the Director of Mines Environmental Compliance Department, Dr. (Mrs.) Okono Vivian recalled that just some months ago, the Ministry, in collaboration with Centre LSD commenced the review process of the 2014 Guidelines for the production of Community Development Agreement (CDA) and today we have all participated in the launch of the 2023 Revised Guidelines.

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