The federal government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals, on Tuesday warned illegal miners to stop sabotaging the economy and canceled the permits of 1,633 defaulters.
The council noted that this decision is the current administration’s noble goal of cleaning up the solid minerals sector and positioning the industry for global competitiveness.
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Arake, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja, saying that corporate bodies that earn huge profits from the mining industry are failing to pay their annual dues and refusing to pay the government. said that it was indeed very unconscionable. service charge.
Alek said: “In accordance with the law, the MCO commenced the process of canceling 2,213 titles on October 4, 2023. These include 795 exploration titles, 956 small-scale mining licenses, 364 quarry licenses, Includes 98 mining leases.
“These were published in Federal Register No. 178, No. 110, dated October 10, 2023, along with a notice of cancellation for non-payment of annual service fees.
“The mandated 30-day period expired on November 10, 2023. Only 580 titleholders responded that they would settle their debts. With this development, MCO announced that the next 1,633 mineral titles recommended the cancellation of 536 exploration licenses; quarry licenses, 279; small-scale mining licenses, 787 and mining leases, 31.
“Pursuant to the powers vested in me by section 5(a) of the NMMA 2007, I have authorized the cancellation of 1,633 titles. We will work with the Mining Supervision Department to arrest any violators found in areas where rights have been revoked, warning them to immediately leave relevant cadastral records.”
He said it is certainly a reasonable assumption that such companies would be more reluctant to pay royalties or meet their tax obligations to governments, and that the amount companies are being asked to pay is He added that the amount is small compared to the company’s revenue forecasts.
He said the unity of the Nigerian press and Nigerian people on the solid minerals issue had led to national resolve and injected new vitality into its strength and readiness to carry out reforms with stamina and unity of purpose. .
The Minister explained the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and Mineral Title Management, stating that every sector has a governance system that regulates the conduct of participants, entry and exit procedures, the obligations of government towards participants, and the obligations of government towards the nation. I explained that I needed it. Penalties for violations.
He said the philosophy of the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 is to establish a streamlined system of transparent and comprehensive title management to ensure a seamless transition from renaissance to exploration and from exploration to mineral extraction. He said that this is true.
He added: “The lead authority for title management is the Mineral Cadastral Authority, which receives applications, evaluates them and issues titles with approval from the Office of the Honorable Minister for Solid Minerals Development.” Although we have sought to improve efficiency through adoption, we continue to face challenges in monitoring titleholders’ compliance with the most basic requirements for their operations and title maintenance.
“For example, Article 10(a) provides for payment for processing an application, while Article 10B provides for payment of an annual service fee. According to the law, the Mineral Register Office An application processing fee shall be collected: an annual service fee set at a fixed rate per cadastral square unit for management and administrative services provided by the cadastral.
“It is indeed very unconscionable for a company that makes huge profits from mining to deny the government its due by not paying an annual service charge.
“For example, owners of exploration rights pay only N1,500 per cadastral unit not exceeding 200 units. If you hold title over 200 units, you pay N2,000 per unit. The larger the area your title covers, the more you will pay.
“This principle was applied to ensure that the applicant does not retain more than is necessary for the exploration. As the cadastral unit is captured as a 500 m x 500 m square, it is possible to ensure that the right ownership is in compliance with the law. should fulfill their obligations without hesitation.”
In her remarks, the Assistant Secretary, Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Dr. Mary Ogbe, said everyone must work together to advance the policy.
she said: “I would like the press to spread the message far and wide, even if it is in a different dialect. As the Mining Minister says, the mining sector is the next oil and together we will You can take it back.”