Wednesday, 22 November 2023 04:48

FG revokes 1,633 mining licences over payment default

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Federal government has revoked 1,633 mining licenses due to default in payment of stipulated service fees by operators.

In a statement on Tuesday, Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development, said the revocation became necessary after the expiration of a 30-day notice to defaulters — as stipulated by sections 11 and 12 of the Nigerian Mineral Mining Act (NMMA), 2007.

Alake, in the statement issued by Segun Tomori, special assistant on media to the minister, said the ministry began the process of revoking 2,213 titles on October 4, 2023.

“In compliance with the law, the Mining Cadastral Office (MCO) on October 4, 2023 began the process of revoking 2,213 titles,” he said.

“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.

“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.

“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work with the Mines Inspectorate of the Ministry to apprehend any defaulter found on any of the areas where titles have been revoked.”

Alske said efforts are ongoing to sanction other operators defaulting in payment of royalties, taxes amongst others.

According to the minister, revoking the licences of operators shortchanging government is an ongoing process which he said will create space for serious prospective investors to come on stream.

Addressing illegal mining in the country, Alake read the riot act to culprits, saying that their days are numbered.

Alake said illegal miners will be dealt with by the government should they continue their unauthorised mining activities.

He said President Bola Tinubu is committed to sanitising the mining sector.

On the issue of insecurity, Alake said plans for the establishment of mine police are underway.

The minister said the military will conduct initial clearance operations to pave the way for the deployment of the mine police.

 

The Cable

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