BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Mining in Nigeria has been in existence for over 2,400 years with first mining taking place in the form of crafter mining as experienced by the people in the course of seeking for natural resources within their community to satisfy their social and economic needs. This was the issue with the very old and dateless civilizations as seen in the Nok Culture (340 BC), the Igbo Ukwu bronze civilization (705 AD) Ife and Benin Bronze works flourished between 1163–1200 AD and 1630–1648 AD, as follows, using basic clays, base metals and gold and numerous others.
Mine work is naturally dangerous and, with poor health and safety conditions and overcrowding in mine hostels, it also supported and contributed to a growing tuberculosis disease, specifically among mineworkers in the gold mining sector. Irrespective of the fact that there have been tremendous growth and improvements in the health and safety conditions at Nigeria’s mines, the Department of Mineral Resources is to a great extent concerned that deaths as a result of disasters, injuries and occupational diseases still occur in the sector.
The Mining Inspector is an authority for challenges that has to do with the Minerals Act. The Mining Inspector is chief of the Mining Inspectorate and is selected and chosen by the Government. The Mining Inspector’s duty is to carefully examine the applications and issue permits needed for exploration and exploitation of mineral deposits and to supervise compliance with the law. The Mining Inspectorate on the other hand makes sure the needed information is made available to prospectors and mineral companies, landowners, the general public, county administrative boards and municipalities.
The efficiency and productivity of a Mines Inspectorate will be to a large extent dependent on a variety of practical matters: where and how it chooses to deploy its scarce resources; how it desires, seeks to manage and maintain its independence and hide from capture by respective stakeholders; how it communicates with trade unions and worker representatives and seeks to utilize their capacities; how it maintains and manages its skills base and how it makes sure that it has the capacity and ability to accomplish increasingly complex regulatory tasks.
Mining by definition is an industry with many sides and a complex chain of activities, operations, process intensive and strongly affected by external factors starting from weather to commodities prices. Over and above these built-in issues, we would like to point out other key issues that are now the talk of the day within the mining industry. These issues comprise attracting new skilled workers, water management, regulations, and grade & quality decline.
According to a recent SME (Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration) study “Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Mining Industry”, in 2019 the industry will need almost 80,000 extra replacement workers due to retirement.
In other to attract new professionals to the industry and encourage young students to chase an education in mining entails a contemporary method from diverse fields and partnerships ranging from technical teams, human resources, public relations, schools, suppliers, and R&D. In the end, major goal for this industry is to introduce itself as an attractive and exciting industry for career growth and enhancement.
Water is often times a challenge in the mining industry. Water has always been very important for the mining industry and its relevance is increasing very fast. Mining companies have an attractive track record for delivering consistent growth in safety and risk governance standards. There is no doubt that the professionalism and expertise that exist within the industry will continue to make sure that any new and emerging risk challenges are dealt with in an equally determined fashion.
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
The mining sector is a promising source of internal revenue if adequate harnessed but its neglect of the mining sector of Nigeria has further increased the level of poor economic performance in the country as a result f the dwindling price of crude oil which has regrettably been the only principal source of the nation’s income. If mining sector of the country had been adequate positioned to improve the nation’s income, the current economic recession shouldn’t have been this bad.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the functions and challenges of the mine inspectorate. Other specific objectives of the study include;
H0: There are no challenges of mine inspectorate in Nigeria.
H1: There are challenges of mine inspectorate in Nigeria.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would greatly benefit the mining sector and most importantly the mine inspectorate as it would greatly benefit them in the execution of their duties. The study would also benefit students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing a further study on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the functions of the mine inspectorate, its challenges and solutions using the federal ministry of mines and steel development in Lagos state.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.