- Presidency highlights improvements under Engr. Nkom-led Management of MCO
The Director-General, Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), Engr. Obadiah Simon Nkom says the Agency is already deploying the digital cadastre system to enhance visibility of the sector in order to improve investment drive and revenue generation.
He said the migration of the mineral licensing agency to online cadastre administration will trigger revenue generated by the sector, stating that over 3.7bn has been generated in revenues. “We had an 86 percent increase in revenue from 2001, but I can tell you that with the new system, we are going to have a steady increase,” he said.
The Director-General gave the assurance in Abuja on Thursday at the State House during the weekly briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team.
Engr Nkom, whose re-appointment for a second term of four years by President Muhammadu Buhari was popularly described as well-deserved, disclosed that the agency had witnessed an increase in the number of applications for mining permits. He attributed the boost to the transparency of the licensing process stating: “Among our key accomplishments, is the more you are transparent the more you will be able to see people coming in to submit application. So we have quite an increase in that regard and the increase is not just nationally you have foreign investors getting attracted by way of our transparency, our policies and the way things are being done.”
He said the MCO which was established in 2007, generated the funds through its major mandate of issuing licenses to miners. “My mandate is simply administration of mineral titles in line with the provisions of the Act establishing the agency.”
According to the Director-General, the Mining Cadastre Office came into being in 2007 with the re-enactment of the Act. “The Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act established the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office in 2007 with clear mandate as to administration and management of minerals titles and maintenance of the Cadastre Register.”
He further explained that the essence is to ensure that mineral titles are administered and manage in the most transparent manner, stating that revenue generation is key because the management aims to consolidate on achievements by increasing revenue generation.
“The Mining Cadastre Office generates revenue through application fees, processing fees and the annual service fee. We are not in charge of other activities like payment of royalties and so on. So, even with these little aspects of revenue components we still want to ensure that at the end of the day, our revenue increases and we are able to add to the development of Nigeria and increase the wellbeing of citizens particularly the key components of job creation and revenue, based on our vision for the country,” he said.
He said the Agency has opened zonal offices thereby making it easy for people to assess the service of the agency. The Agency aims to reduce the number of illegal or informal miners by making licensing easier for all,” he said.
While saying that the agency is working closely with State governments to advise the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development on mining matters, he disclosed that the agency is also looking at the coal sector to power projects to increase energy alternatives for the citizens.
The Director-General added that more than 3,000 defaulters lost their permits: “In terms of revoked titles, recently we have gazetted ones; we have 3,432 defaulters that we have published and we have revoked 3402 revoked permits. So valid ones are now over 6,000,” he said.
Earlier, the State House confirmed the re-appointment of Mr. Obadiah Simon Nkom, as the Director-General of the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (NMCO) for a second and final term of four years effective January 12, 2023.
A press statement issued on Tuesday by the Media Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina, said Nkom was first appointed on January 12, 2019 for an initial period of four years.
The Engr. Simon Nkom-led Management of the Mining Cadastre Office brought about improvements in the mineral licensing, and recorded 86% increase in revenue generation, raking in over N8.9 billion between 2019 and 2021 compared to N4.8 billion generated in the corresponding period of 2016 – 2018. The figure accounts for about 50% of the contribution of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to the economy.
His recently-unveiled reforms in the automation of the Mining Cadastre system have revolutionalised online and real time mineral title administration and management.
It is also to the credit of Nkom during his first term that the MCO was named the best agency of the federal government in the category of Digital Innovation Awards for the year 2022 under the auspices of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), for adding value to the activities of the Cadastre Office, the Presidency said.