Deputy Speaker, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Barr. Magaji Henry Danjuma has expressed the desire of the Assembly to collaborate with the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) toward enlightening the people of the State on the opportunities of mineral trading and development, adding that Kaduna State is home to mineral wealth that can be harnessed and developed for economic transformation of the people.
Danjuma, who initiated the process when he led a delegation of Members of Kaduna State House of Assembly Representing Zone 3, on a visit to the Director-General of the MCO, on Tuesday, in Abuja, noted that ‘knowledge is power,’ adding that the House of Assembly and the Agency must work together to educate the people on how they can take maximum advantage of the mineral wealth of the region for financial prosperity.
‘We are in Abuja for a retreat and decided to pay a private visit to Engr. Obadiah Simon Nkom to congratulate him on his appointment as Director-General for a second term, but the visit turned formal when the Director-General explained the mandate of his Agency to us.’
Addressing the Director-General, the Deputy Speaker said: ‘Kaduna State legislature would wish to have you come to educate us, so that we can go to our various constituencies to pass the knowledge to the people on how they can tap into the mineral wealth of the State in line with law governing mineral title administration and mineral trade.’
‘We are challenged because it is obvious that the people of Kaduna State whom we represent must hear what we have heard about the economic potential of solid minerals in various locations of Kaduna State,’ he said.
The Deputy Speaker made reference to the Director-General’s point of view saying: ‘Engr Obadiah Nkom correctly pointed out that Kaduna State is home to great mineral wealth, but noted that the people need to be enlightened and given the support they need to be able to address poverty by embracing mineral trade and development.’
‘We are challenged by what we learnt today from the Director-General, and we must tap into the solid mineral wealth of the State,’ he said, adding that it is encouraging that government is trying to shift its resource base from oil to solid minerals.
The Director-General of the Agency, Engr. Obadiah Simon Nkom thanked the lawmakers and explained that the MCO is an Agency under the new ministry of Solid Minerals Development, with mandate to administer and manage mineral titles across the country with exception of oil and gas.
‘Our mandate is to grant licenses for all solid minerals in the country,’ he said, adding that in order to decentralize the task and make it service delivery more effective, the Agency established a Zonal Office in each of the six Geo Political Zones of the country including Kaduna (in the North West).
Discussing efforts made by the Agency to ensure world class mineral title administration and how Kaduna State can benefit from it, Engr Nkom said the MCO recently migrated from analog to digital cadastre administration in line with global best practices, stating that it is in order to create enabling environment for investors at home and abroad.
He said in November 2022, the Mining Cadastre Office launched its migration to electronic mining casdsatre system.
Nkom expressed willingness of the Agency to collaborate with the Kaduna State House of Assembly in line with the mandate of the Agency. He agreed with the lawmakers that available data shows that Kaduna State is endowed with solid minerals that are instrumental to economic advancement, noting that Kaduna State Government established a Special Purpose Vehicle known as Kaduna State Mining Development Company which has some mining licenses issued by the MCO.
The Director-General assured the lawmakers that the Agency would work with the House of Assemble to disseminate information that would empower the people of the State to participate in mining business and wealth creation.