Multiple reports of the closedown of Obu Mines in Okpella, Edo, by the State Government is just rumour-mongering, Mr. Otega Ogra,Group Head, Corporate Communications of BUA International Limited said in a statement released on Monday.
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Gov. Godwin Obaseki had reportedly announced the closure of the mines in dispute between Bua and Dangote Group.
But in the statement, Ogra, cast doubt on the reports saying among others that Gov. Obaseki was not empowered by the law to exercise such power.
The statement reads: “We heard of the alleged closing down of the Obu mines in Okpella, Edo State by the Governor of Edo State. Whilst this remains in the territory of hearsay, our position on this matter remains very clear. Just as the Edo state Government said in its statement, this is an issue no state government has jurisdiction over as it is a Federal Issue.
“It is however interesting to note that the mine under contention, ML2541, has been claimed repeatedly by the Ministry of Mines and Dangote to be in Okene, Kogi state. Thus, we are curious and are at great loss as to why the Governor of Edo State is closing down a mine in Edo State which has been claimed by the other parties involved to be outside his state in Okene, Kogi State and which the purported ML2541 license also states clearly.
“The Ministry has written us prior and our response was published in our open letter to His Excellency, The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on December 4, 2017. This case remains in a competent court of jurisdiction which has ordered all parties – BUA, Dangote, The Ministry of Mines and others to maintain status quo and we will continue to abide by the dictates of the court as a responsible corporate citizen.
It added, “We are however yet to receive some form of official communication asking us to close our mining sites ML18912 and ML18913 in Edo State, thus this alleged closing down report still remains in the territory of hearsay. We will respond accordingly when and if we get an official communication from the proper authorities.”