From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (NMCO) has said that the country currently has 7,200 valid solid mineral titles across the federation, adding that it has generated over N1 billion in the first quarter of this year.
The Director-General of NMCO, Obadiah Nkom, made this disclosure at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, yesterday.
He said that the figure is a picture of a significant increase in the number of valid mining titles, licences that are operational, in the last year, attesting to improvement in the administration of solid mineral resources in the country in recent years.
“As at today one can say we have seven thousand and two hundred (7,200) valid mineral titles and it is not by the number of the mineral titles that matters but active mineral titles is what is important in order to avoid titles that are just dormant.”
The DG noted that with the improved system, more applicants, especially from the international scene, are coming for license, however, said the process of revoking more licenses for one reason or the other is on, adding that the MCO use to follow all procedures and explore all avenues before taking action.
He stressed that over 4,000 names of mineral title holders were published in some national dailies recently for defaulting, adding that before a title is withdrawn, the holder is given thirty (30) days notification to defend himself.
” We have generated over one billion naira as of April, this year, to the federation account, to increase the country’s revenue target and boost its Gross Domestic Product GDP, he said.
Nkon also added that the that the agency protects indigenous mining by not issuing license of small scale mining to foreigners. “The agency does not license of small scale mining to foreigners and the essence is to encourage indigenous miners to have a stake in the mining sector and improve on their activities,” he said.