By Gabriel Ewepu
Federal Government, last weekend disclosed it generated N1 billion from sale of mining leases through the Mining Cadastral Office, MCO, within last one year.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon Abubakar Bwari, disclosed this while announcing government’s partnership through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development with Afrocet Montgomery to host CONMIN West Africa, in April 2017.
According to Bwari the money generated by the Ministry came through small scale mining leases and exploration licenses.He also said over 300 licenses had been revoked for falling short of government’s conditions attached to the issuance of mining licenses, while notices had been placed on several others to ensure holders of various licenses are operating and committed towards the development of the sector.
Meanwhile, Bwari also explained that success recorded in the sector in the past one year was as a result of partnerships between the government and private sector, which have facilitated world class mining conferences, and the resolution of the litigation issues on Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and Nigerian Iron-Ore Mining Company, NIOMCO, Itakpe, all in Kogi State.
He also added that Federal and State governments are making efforts to partner and synergize in order to have a robust sector on a win-win basis, where the solid minerals bearing and hosting states become beneficiaries of 13 per cent derivation from the mining revenue generated from their states.
Regional Director, Deloitte, Mr George Pearson, said Nigeria has taken bold steps to reposition the mining sector by successful exploration and exploitation of its mineral resources.
He expressed optimism that with such commitment already demonstrated, the priorities outlined by the government will be the next frontier of opportunity for development.