The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, has called on mining stakeholders to support the Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geosciences (COMEG) to enable it to perform its statutory obligations.
The minister, who made the call at the 10th COMEG Induction Ceremony for 150 inductees on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the support would help the council to live up to its responsibilities and professional calling.
“Under my leadership, the ministry will continue to support the council with policy and guidance to ensure it discharges its responsibilities, regulates, controls and enforces the provisions of the law and regulations guiding mineral exploration and exploitation.
“I will ensure, through the ministry, that we are able to secure a befitting office accommodation for COMEG to carry out its operation,” he said.
Adegbite congratulated the inductees, urging them to live up to the expectations of the COMEG professional code of conduct and ethics, to sustain the standard of practice in the Nigerian extractive industry.
Also speaking, the Minister of State, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, said that the ministry had remained resilient and dogged in the drive for economic diversification, in spite of what had been a turbulent year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ogah urged COMEG registered professionals, particularly the 10th class of inductees, to continue to uphold the core values of the council, while performing as the custodians and guardians of its professional ethics.
The Chairman of COMEG, Dr Godspower Okpoi, said that since the council’s establishment in 1990 and its inauguration in 2001, COMEG had tried to discharge its responsibilities, as permitted by prevailing circumstances.
“Today, we are witnessing another epoch-making event in the history of the Nigerian extractive industry. The council is conducting its first ever virtual induction ceremony.
“The council has also conducted its first ever mandatory professional exam online, to accommodate applicants in the Diaspora and those who could not be present for physical examination due to the nature of their jobs,” he said.
Okpoi said that the council would continue to work towards the registration of more professionals and companies, so as to ensure a drastic reduction of quackery in the sector.
“When we took over the affairs of the council, there were 2,188 registered professionals and 84 corporate members, with an additional 563 professional members and 86 corporate members, making a total of 2,751 extractive professionals and 166 corporate organisations on COMEG’s register.
“Today, we are recording an additional 150 professional members and three corporate members.”
Okpoi urged the inductees to imbibe honesty, diligence, efficiency and determination in their duties, adding that such qualities should also serve as their watchwords.