The Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Monday, in Abuja, directed that all mining operations in the country be closed down because of the coronavirus pandemic, until the situation improves.
The association gave the directive in a statement, saying that this had become necessary because the country’s mining sites are not in tandem with social distancing.
The statement was jointly signed by Dele Ayanleke and Kabiru Mohammed the organisation’s National Secretary and National President respectively.
It noted that coronavirus had become a global pandemic plaguing the entire nation and continents of the world and it has been monitoring the developments and measures taken to mitigate its effects and curbing its spread.
“And having also considered the peculiar nature of our mining activities which are mostly domiciled in the rural communities with attendant lack of health and other basic amenities.
“Infiltration of illegal immigrants and high level of social contacts and interactions among the mine workers and other camp dwellers, the association has come to the conclusion that the state of our mining sites is not in tandem with social distancing.
“It is in the light of the above that the National Executive Council of Miners Association hereby directs all our members across the nation to close all mining operations forthwith, until the nation survives this global emergency,” it said.
It appealed to other non-member miners to heed this directive in the overall national interest.
According to the statement, any window of entry of the virus into any of our minefields may spell doom at all efforts at curbing its spread.
“We are not unaware of the cumulative economic and operational costs of the adherence to this directive on the investments of our members and other miners.
“We plead that they should regard this call as our sacrificial contributions to deliver our nation, fellow citizens, ourselves and other residents from the pandemic of
coronavirus.” the statement stressed.
President Muhammadu Buhari in a nationwide broadcast on Sunday on the coronavirus pandemic, ordered the complete lockdown of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun from 11.00 p.m Monday.
So far, the total number of those infected by the coronavirus in the country as at Sunday, according to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) stood at 131.
20 states in the country had also directed a lockdown of activities to forestall the spread of the virus.