ICPC rates Ministry’s transparency at 76 per cent in 2021 — Akinlade

MCO receives, processes 1, 740 new applications — Nkom

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite, Monday, revealed Federal Government’s funding behind Mining Cadastre Office’s success and emergence as winner of Nigeria Internet Regulatory Association, NiRA, 2022 Award ahead of other reputable agencies in the Federal Civil Service.

Adegbite who made the disclosure in his remarks during the ceremony of ‘Presentation of Award Won by the Mining Cadastre Office, MCO to The Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development’ at the Ministry’s headquarter in Abuja.

MCO won NiRA’s ‘Digital Innovation in the Federal Government’ in 2022, based on independent assessment on its digital and innovative performance.

He said: “It was a pleasure in surprise not that we did not deserve it for that the organizers recognizes, not that the system is the best but how it is managed in the last one year.

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“We must give kudos to whom is due MCO will not be where it is today if not for President Muhammadu Buhari, I referred to it because the sector in its first time in history is enjoying some funding that we do not have.

“The Ministry had this extra-budgeting funding which was given to us out of the Natural Resource Fund which was granted sometime in 2017. We also have the World Bank facilitated projects, MINDIVER, in the Ministry as well.

“So with the combination of these two funding which essentially is from the Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari, they have uplifted the sector to where we are today, where we can celebrate the achievement of the MCO. This in essence is the recognition the federal government has paid to the sector. We thank the federal government for that.

“The MCO has come a long way from analogue keeping of records, make inquiry doing business or apply for a license. They have come from that distance so that today you can transact business with MCO online real time, this is a giant leap for the sector, and this also manifested because MCO is our revenue ‘baby’.

“We have quantum leap on the revenue by MCO from the years I have being in charge to 2021 that was reported last. We had quantum leap at times doubling the revenue of the previous year and the next year.”

He also said the feat achieved by MCO is as a result of synergy of all agencies under the Ministry, and also called for more collaboration and synergy, and added that, “To who more is given much is expected.”

Meanwhile, in a remark, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade, said the feat achieved by the MCO is a step in the right direction as taking the bold initiative to achieve Head of the Civil Service of the Federation’s Digitalization and Innovation Service Improvement Agenda.

Akinlade commended and congratulated the Director General of the MCO, Engr Obadiah Nkom and all the staff for achieving the feat.

According to her, the leadership style of the Minister for giving paratastals under the Ministry direction led to MCO’s emergence as top among all federal parastatals by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association, NiRA.

However, she tasked other agencies under the Ministry including directors to key into the area of digitalization and innovation of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, particularly in the area of digitalization and innovation by developing new ideas that can be used in addressing emerging challenges.

She also said very soon the Ministry will have all processes automated to improve transparency and workflow.

She said: “It is therefore very gratifying for us that the Mining Cadastre Office, MCO, have been rated the best in digital innovation among the federal establishments in Nigeria for the year 2022.

“I therefore congratulate the Director General of the MCO, Engr Obadiah Nkom and all the staff for achieving this feat.

“This accomplishment did not come without challenges but you were not deterred instead you forged ahead and today we are celebrating your agency.

“As part of our drive we have decided to key into the area of digitalization, and it is very key project in the Ministry, and you can see that innovations and ICT expertise will highly improve the transparency in processes of the MCO.

“Our transparency index in this Ministry has improved from six per cent in 2020 to 76 per cent in 2021, and this is the way to go, when we are transparent in our processes, we are diligent in our services, and we have seen the result in celebrating one of us here.”

The Director General, MCO, Engr Obadiah Nkom, explained that the NiRA Award for 2022, came on the heels of the “Third Upgrade eMC+ – Online Mineral Title Administration system: Upgrading and Automation of the Mining Cadastre Office for Online Applications, e-Recording, Archiving and Establishment of Mining Cadastre Offices in the Six Geo-political Zones of Nigeria, currently Mineral Title Applications can be received on eMC+ at all MCO Zonal Offices.

“Development and implementation of a computerized online Mineral Title Administration system (establishment of a web-based Administration and Management of Mineral Title system) – 2018 – DATE currently the office has commenced the use of the new upgraded system eMC+.

“One can humbly say that the electronic mining cadastre migration to online, and very soon we are going to launch into the public but meanwhile, we are receiving applications online, the domain is going to be opened for all.

“1,740 new applications have been received and are being processed using eMC+. Our website is user friendly with information on Mineral Titles; Guidelines for Mineral Title Application and other information as it relates to the MCO. ‘Generally, the site reflects the organizations products and services and is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week with local content development.”

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