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Mining Licences: Nigeria generated 14.59bn in 5 years –NMCO’s DG

Director-General of the Nigeria Mining Cadastral Office (NMCO), Obadiah Nkom, has disclosed that the agency generated the sum of N14.59 billion from issuance of mining licences to tittle holders between 2018 and 2022. Nkom made this disclosure yesterday at a briefing organisedbythePresidential Media Team at the Presidential Villa.

The NMCO boss also disclosed that the agency would revoke more unutilised licences in its revenue generating efforts this year. Speaking on revenues, Nkom said the agency, in 2018, 2019 and 2020, generated N1.55 billion, N2.38 billion andN2.57billionrespectively.

He, however, pointed out that between 2021 and 2022 theagency’srevenuefellfrom N4.3billiontoN3.79billionbecause of changes in its internal operating system, which temporarilyaffectedrevenue inflows. According to him, the application of the principle of “use it or lose it” to mining title/rights administration and failure to pay up mandatory annualservicefees, were responsible for revocations, disclosing that some 3,400 titles have been revoked in the last 12 months. Nkom, who was recently reappointed for another period of four years, explained that there were restrictions and conditionalities for the issuance of Coal Mining Licenses in Nigeria. On the principles of allocation of mining licences in Nigeria, Nkom said the agency gives priority to ‘first come first served’ and ‘Use it or lose it.’

“How does the system run? Is on use it or lose it basis. We’ve had instances where people receive and get licenses and keep these licenses, and they don’t use them. The law is very, very clear on that. What does that mean? We give you the licence. “If youdon’t adhere to the provisions of the Act, you lose it. How do you lose it, you lose it by way of revocation and it’s not arbitrary. We give you a notice of default, for you to be able to remedy the defect; we give you 30 days, in line with the law. Nkom said that the agency generated over N3 billion for the country last year alone, through its major mandate of issuing licences to miners. “My mandate is simply administration of mineral titles in line with the provisions of the Act establishing the agency. The agency came into being in 2007 with the reenactment of the Act.

“So, the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act establish the Nigerian Mining Cadastral Office in 2007 with clear mandates as for administration and management of minerals titles and maintenance of the Cadastral register. The essence of that is to ensure that is to ensure that minerals titles are administered and manage in the most transparent manner. “Revenue generation is key because we have had to be able to ensure that we improve on it. We had 86 per cent increase in revenue from 2001. But I can tell you that with the new system, without mincing words that subsequently we are going to have a steady increase. “In our revenue generation, it is nothing but application fees, processing fees and the annual service fee. We are not in charge of other activities like payment of royalties and so on,” he said. The Director-General said the Cadastral office has of recent witnessed an increase in the number of applications for mining permits, adding that the agency collaborates closely with state governments in order to advice the Minister of Mines and Steel Development on mining matters.

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