New Agency To Regulate Nigeria’s Mining Leases

Yemisi Izuora 

The Federal Government may likely establish the Nigerian Mining Commission, to take charge of the regulatory role of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

Minister of Mining Kayode Fayemi was said to have made the disclosure at the Nigeria Day event at the on going African Mining InDaba, Cape Town, South Africa, according to a statement by his media adviser, Yinka Oyebode.

According to him, the law setting up the commission is already with the National Assembly.

He said the commission, which would be known as the Nigerian Mining Commission, would not only be the final authority on regulatory matters, it would also take charge of mining leases.

Nigeria took the centre stage at the African Mining Indaba, with the formal presentation of its new Airborne Electromagnetic Survey Results amid endorsements for the country’s mining sector reforms by mining experts, operators and developmental agencies.

The presentation of the new Airborne Electromagnetic Survey Results, a major high point of the event at the week-long mining conference, was witnessed by renowned stakeholders in global mining and other important dignitaries from different countries.

The minister said government was determined to strengthen regulation in the sector as well as ensure the improvement of its geological data.

Fayemi said the delivery of the geological data was in line with government’s desire to ensure bankable geological data that would be an incentive to investors.

He further said that the ministry would undertake more extensive electromagnetic Airborne Geological Survey of some promising parts of the country this year and the completion of the National Mineral Database.

“We want to ensure predictability; that is what we want to offer; we want to be a big mining designation.

“To achieve this, we have to put certain things in place, including provable data, sound regulations, capacity building for Artisanal and Small Scale Miners as well as access to funding.

He explained that while mining circle was not the same as electoral circle, it was important for government to put in place sound policies and reforms as well as bankable geological data that would make the Nigerian mining jurisdiction a major attraction.

The minister also spoke on government’s determination to enhance its collaboration with state governments and the host communities.

He said the development was being worked out administratively through the establishment of the National Council on Mining and Minerals Development Council, where the states were playing active roles.

He said the combination of the various reforms being put in place, inputs by the National Council on Mining and Minerals Resources Development and the Chamber of Mining, would help to reposition the sector for better result.

Those who spoke on various aspects of the Electromagnectic Survey results included Gaig Annison, Director, Business Development, Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CCG) Airborne Surveys PTY, Australia, who anchored the presentation.

Annison described Nigeria as a nation taking very bold steps towards becoming a major mining destination.

Mr Franklin Ramirez Venezuela, Deputy Minister of Mines and minerals, said the oil and gas rich country was also diversifying to mining to shore up its economy.

He said Venezuela had a lot to learn from Nigeria in its economic diversification efforts.

The minister had in December 2017, disclosed that the ministry secured the delivery of 26,000-line kilometre of electromagnetic data, following the payment of outstanding fees to the consultant that handled the project.

The Consultants had held on to the results of the Electromagnectic survey following the failure of the previous administration to effect payment for it.

The minister said that a good percentage of the N30 billion fund made available to the ministry from the National Resource fund, would be committed to exploratory work and data gathering.

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