Alake: Lack of Reliable Data, Bane of Funding Mining Business

Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake, has expressed frustration over the lack of reliable data provided by mining companies to data banks, saying it is hindering efforts to secure funding for mining businesses.

He made these remarks at the 59th Annual Internal Conference and Exhibition of the Nigeria Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) with the theme: ‘Emerging Global Perspectives, Trends, and Sustainable Development of Minerals and Energy Resources’, held in Jos, Plateau State.

The minister, who was represented by the Director-General, Nigeria Mining Cadastre, Simon Nkom, tasked the engineers and geologists to always send their new findings to the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency to update its intelligence on rocks, adding that rock formation is a dynamic process that occurs slowly based on various factors, internal and external.

He said: “Every cut into the ground is an opportunity to learn about the geological and hydrological events taking place. Each time you keep this intelligence to yourself, you are undermining our collective repository of data. Many investors who approach the NGSA do so with the conviction that they will get the most up-to-date information on the area that their licence covers. But they are disappointed when the data they have paid for is barely enough to make critical investment decisions.

“Many of them have to fly to foreign exploration companies to do more exploration before they are satisfied. Meanwhile, your members keep their data in silos out of what would seem a selfish interest to speculate with the data, then turn it over to where it can collectively help our wealth.”

Also speaking, the state Governor, Caleb Muftwang, highlighted the untapped potential of Nigeria’s mineral resources, and called for enhanced sector regulation to address the prevalence of illegal mining activities. He stressed the need for transparency and good governance to prevent criminality in the sector.

Mutfwang said: “Legal mining and illegal mining have witnessed a lot of criminality in the sector,” advocating for regulatory frameworks akin to those in the oil and gas sector.

President of the NMGS, Prof. Akinade Olatunji, in his address, called for the involvement of geoscientists in construction projects to prevent building collapses in the country.

Olatunji emphasised the importance of utilising geoscience knowledge to improve the country’s water sector and address challenges such as flooding and lack of potable water.

During a workshop on the adoption of the Electronic Mining Cadastre System-eMC+ by the mining sector stakeholders, Simon Nkom underscored the importance of transparency in the mining sector.

He emphasised that the electronic system would provide more interactive and transparent services to stakeholders, ultimately leading to increased investment and economic growth.

“Stakeholders in the mining sector are working towards organising the industry and adopting technology to streamline processes and improve transparency. The adoption of the Electronic Mining Cadastre System is expected to provide a level playing field for mining title issuance and attract more investors to the sector,” he said.

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