Nigeria’s mineral sector licensing agency, Mining Cadastre office (MCO) has announced digital service delivery, stating that its world class digital portal will commissioned next month.
The Director General of the Agency, Engr Simon Obadiah Nkom who made this known while addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, said the digitalization of mineral licensing by the MCO aims to ensure efficient and transparent administration of the mineral titles in the country in line with global best practices.
According to the Director General, the management of the agency has put in place, measures that guarantee full adherence to government policies in line with the provisions of the Establishment Act of the agency.
‘There are clearly stated laws, we are guided by those laws and we will continue to administer mineral titles in line with the law,’ he said.
While saying that Nigeria currently has over 7, 200 valid minerals sector licensees, he explained that the licenses were administered on a ‘first come, first serve’ and ‘use it or lose it’ basis, stating that dormant titles are revoked by he agency.
Discussing some of the measures put in place to ensure transparency and accountability, the Director General explained that the agency is in collaboration with the Nigerian Extractive Transparency International Initiative (NEITI)) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) among others.
While he disclosed that the MCO has boosted revenue generated to government purse by over one billion Naira, he expressed confidence in the ability of the sector to diversify the economy.
‘There are currently seven thousand and two hundred valid mineral titles,’ he said, adding that operators must ensure that their mineral titles are active in order to avoid revocation.
The Director General noted that new ideas that will facilitate the realization of set goals of economic diversification are being implemented, stating that the MCO will work to promote investment in minerals of the future namely Lithium, Cobalt, Nickel and Copper among others.
According to the Director General, the ‘The Mining Cadastral Office (MCO) has moved away from simply issuing licenses, we now look at market analysis of minerals. We are now looking into future minerals as a policy matter, our research department has started looking into minerals to start concentrating on. Some of them are the battery minerals the Lithium, Cobalt, copper etc because countries are beginning to eradicate the use of fuel.