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FG revokes 3402 mining licenses

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Friday, January 20th, 2023
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By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

The federal government said yesterday that no fewer than 3402 mining licenses were revoked in the last five years because the allottees failed to use them.

Director-General of Nigeria Mining Cadastre, Obadiah Nkom, who disclosed this to State House correspondents when he featured at the 63rd session of the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also said the office generated N14.59 billion from 2018 to 2022 from issuance of mining licences.

He said that the office revoked 3,402 titles that were not used, adding that the agency made sure only the rightful people were given license.

He also disclosed that Nigeria’s coal was sought after all over the world.

On revenue generation, he explained that in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the agency generated N1.55 billion; N2.38 billion; and N2.57 billion respectively.

However, between 2021 and 2022, its revenue fell from N4.3 billion to N3.79 billion respectively.

Nkom explained that the revenue drop was due to changes in its internal operating system which temporarily affected revenue inflow.

He said the introduction of Electronic Mining Cadastre was aimed at repositioning the agency, stressing that subsequently, it would have a huge increase in revenue generation.

Nkom, who is the Director-General in charge of Rights in the Ministry of Mines, further said that 100 per cent of the Office’s revenues were sent to the Treasury Single Account, TSA, of the Federal Government.

He also noted that the bulk of the revenue come from application, processing and annual service fees; which he said constitute 50 per cent of the annual revenue generated from the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

President Muhammadu Buhari renewed the appointment of Nkom for a second and final term of four years with effect from January 12, 2023.

Nkom, who holds a Higher National Diploma in Mining Engineering from Kaduna Polytechnic was first appointed on January 12, 2019, for an initial period of four years.

He also noted that the bulk of the revenue come from application, processing and annual service fees; which constitute 50 per cent of the annual revenue generated from the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

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 annual service fees were responsible for the revocation.

He explained that there were restrictions and conditionalities for the issuance of coal mining licenses in Nigeria.

Nkom said: “We have to be very strategic, and also take into account current global issues. 

The Mining Cadastre Office does not just issue licenses, we look at the future, issues of sustainability, maximizing value, strategically ensuring Nigeria is properly managing her mineral wealth to achieve maximum economic value and diversification.”

On the principles of allocation of mining licenses in Nigeria, the DG said the agency gave priority to ‘first come first served’ and ‘Use it or lose it’.

Nkom said: “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 license. If you don’t adhere to the provisions of the Act, you lose it. How do you lose it, you lose it by way of revocation.

“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. You can decide to remedy the effect on the 29th day. We are fine with that. But once it is 30 days, and you don’t remedy the defects, then we revoke the title because we know that all these are subjects to litigations.”

SOURCE: Vanguard News Nigeria

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