FG Moves To Review Mining Licence Rates

FG Moves To Review Mining Licence Rates
Dele Alake

The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, has announced plans to review the rates of mining licences and other fees payable by mining operators in the country.

According to the minister, in a statement signed by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake’s Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori, the minister stated this during a consultative meeting with stakeholders in the mining industry on Thursday in Abuja.

He stressed that the review had become inevitable if the government was to effectively fulfil its obligations of providing an enabling environment for mining operations while raising more revenue.

He stated that the plan would enhance the government’s capacity to reposition the mining sector effectively.

He solicited the support of stakeholders for the impending increase in fees for mining licenses and other sundry fees.

Highlighting efforts to reposition the mining industry, the minister revealed that aside from the ongoing reforms, the administration was sanitising the mining environment through the newly unveiled mining marshals, which he affirmed had been conducting operations in parts of the country to protect legitimate miners and combat illegal mining.

Alake said, “For us to continue to ensure that we secure the mining environment and keep putting in place measures that will ease the operational difficulties and challenges that confront miners, we need to review the rates of mining licenses and other sundry fees.

“We felt that we couldn’t just do this without letting you know because, invariably, you are the players in the industry.”

Concerning the recent revocation of dormant mining licenses, the minister noted that the government followed due process and extant laws guiding the action, emphasising that a 30-day restitution window still existed for operators that were affected.

It will be recalled that the minister announced a restitution fee of N10m, 7.5m, 5m and 2.5m for mining licenses, small-scale mining licences, exploration licence and quarrying licence respectively for revoked dormant licences including those earlier revoked for default in payment of annual service fees.

In his submission, the Director-General of the Mining Cadastral Office, Obadiah Nkom, who also chairs the Fees Review Committee, stated that the committee recommended new rates that were affordable and that would enhance the competitiveness of the fiscal regime of the mining sector in comparison with regional and global standards.

Speaking on behalf of the stakeholders, the President of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Dele Ayanleke, commended the minister for his efforts to put the mining sector on the global front burner, expressing support for ongoing reforms and plans to review fees payable by operators.

He urged the minister to consider the challenges faced by miners and ensure the rates are affordable.

Other stakeholders in attendance include representatives of Women In Mining, the Gemstone Miners Association and top officials of the ministry.

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