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Investments: Why Nigerian Government revokes 1,633 mining licences –Alake

L-R: Dr. Mary Ogbe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development; Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals Development; and Mr. Ime Ekrikpo, Director of Investment Promotion and Minerals Trade, at a Press Conference in Abuja, FCT       Photo: State House

*Dr. Oladele Alake, Minister for Solid Minerals Development, reads riot act to illegal miners, threatening a clampdown as the Military moves to conduct initial clearance operations to pave way for deployment of the Mines Police in the sector

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has announced the revocation of 1,633 mining licences due to default in payment of stipulated service fees by the concerned operators.

ConsumerConnect reports Dr. Oladele Alake, Honourable Minister for Solid Minerals Development, announced this development Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at a press conference in his office in Abuja, FCT.

Alake stated that the revocation became imperative, following the expiration of a 30-day notice to defaulters, as stipulated by Sections 11 and 12 of the Nigerian Mineral Mining Act (NMMA), 2007.

The Minister said: “In compliance with the law, the Mining Cadastral Office (MCO) October 4, 2023 began the process of revoking 2,213 titles. “These included 795 Exploration titles, 956 Small Scale Mining Licences, 364 Quarry licences, and 98 Mining Leases.

“These were published in the Federal Government Gazette Number 178, Volume 110 of October 10, 2023 with the notice of revocation for defaulting in the payment of Annual Service Fee.”

He also noted: “The mandatory 30 days expired on November 10, 2023. Only 580 title holders responded by settling their indebtedness.

“With this development, the MCO recommended the revocation of 1, 633 mineral titles as follows: Exploration Licence, 536; Quarry Licence, 279; Small Scale Mining Licence, 787 and Mining Lease, 31.”

Alake further asserted: “In  line with the powers conferred on me by the NMMA 2007, Section 5 (a), I have approved the revocation of the 1,633 titles.

“I hereby warn the previous holders of these titles to leave the relevant cadaster with immediate effect as security agencies shall work with the Mines Inspectorate of the Ministry to apprehend any defaulter found on any of the areas where titles have been revoked.”

According to him, efforts are ongoing to sanction other operators defaulting in payment of royalties, taxes among others.

The Minister for Solid Minerals Development emphasised that revocation of operators shortchanging government is an ongoing process which he noted would create space for serious prospective investors to come on stream.

Minister reads riot act to illegal miners

Responding to enquiries on illegal mining, Dr. Alake read the riot act to culprits asserting that their days are numbered.

The Minister vowed that government would deal ruthlessly with those who refuse to turn over a new leaf, restating the commitment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to sanitising the mining sector of the economy.

On insecurity in Nigeria, the Minister reiterated that plans for the establishment of Mines Police is underway, revealing that the military will conduct initial clearance operations to pave the way for the deployment of the Mines Police.

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