Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The federal government Thursday announced that it has so far revoked not less than 1,566 mineral titles from licensed industries on what it termed ‘”use-it-or-lose-it process.”
The Director-General, Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), Mr. Obadiah Nkom, stated this when the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, paid his first courtesy visit to various agencies under the ministry.
Nkom explained that the attention of his office is focus on ending the era when people would collect licenses and kept them without visible actions.
He stated that “this is a continuous process, and that is why we use that syndrome of ‘Use it or Lose it’. In doing this, we have to go through our legal books to make sure there are no mistakes.
“From 2011, almost all our litigation have been successful and in favour of government. Another aspect is the international best practice, in a short time we would be able to migrate to online with the support of the ministry.”
He also disclosed that the agency has put in strategies to improve and restore confidence of investors on government, noting that you cannot owe the government and still ask for services.
“As at today that I’m talking, we have generated about N2 billion. We are moving and these are milestones that have never been achieved since the inception of MCO.
“We are still moving and I hope at the end of the day we would make sure that we improve on revenue generation. We would work towards making sure that it’s a big component and sanity is created.”
But Adegbite frowned at the drop of mining applications.
He said: “I looked at the draft of applications over the years. The application for this year seems to have dropped from what you had in the past. By July ending you had 1,025 whereas in 2016, the total application received was 2,800.
“Are we having lower interest in mining now that government is putting a lot of emphasis? Why is interest in application dropping? Are we not telling people more about mining?”
He revealed that government was in best possible position to generate revenue from mining, adding: “State governments should position and contribute to the federation account through mining sector.”