The Director General of the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), Engr. Obadiah Simon Nkom has encouraged the organized private sector to take advantage of the investment-friendly climate of the Nigeria Mining Sector by investing in the abundant solid mineral resources of the country.
He pledged the readiness of country’s mineral licensing agency – the Mining Cadastre Office to collaborate with reputable investors in the organized private sector in order to achieve the mandate of the present administration in the mining sector, adding that Public-Private Partnership can drive huge investment into mining sector.
Engr. Nkom, who spoke during a recent visit of the delegation of a London-based investment organization – Optiva Resources Limited alongside their Investment Advisers, NPL Advisors, to the MCO Headoffice, in Abuja, said the Mining Cadastre Office operates in line with global best practices.
While he admonished the prospective investors to explore investment opportunities for the development of mineral resources in Nigeria, the Director General listed the types of Mineral Titles administered by the agency, namely; Exploration License, Quarry Lease, Small Scale Mining Lease, Water Use Permit and Mining Lease which he said, is particularly open to foreign investors.
The Director General assured of a more conducive environment, saying that the principles adapted by the Agency have made the process very transparent. He added that other principles of Security of Tenure, First Come First Serve and that of “Use it or Lose it” particularly triggered a publication of over 4,000 Mineral Titles to remedy their default, failure of which their licenses would be revoked.
Engr. Nkom further assured Optiva Resources Limited that the migration of the MCO to online administration of mineral titles places investors at great advantage, stating that “now is the best time to invest in Nigerian mineral sector.”
He said that the government collaborated with the World Bank to upgrade the Agency’s system and it is compatible with the rest of the world, adding that with electronic Mining Cadastre (eMC+) application based system, a ready-made platform has been provided for investors all over the world to come on board.
“We ungraded from regular polygon to the online system. We are talking about real time administration and these are the series of upgrades that will align with international best practices.”
He explained that the new system makes it easy for applicants to apply for mineral titles from anywhere in the world, stating that the MCO is currently “crossing and dotting wherever is necessary for us to have a sustainable system.”
The Director General explained that in order to decentralize the operations of the Mining Cadastre Office, six zonal offices have been established, one office in each of the six geo political zones of the country.
It is pertinent to note that the Agency has established a Research and Development (R&D) Unit mandated to study current situations and make suggestions that will lead to the continuous improvement of mineral title application processes.
Nkom explained that the agency is working with relevant stakeholders who have embarked on mining research to “look into the future of minerals and mineral application,” adding that the mining cadastre administration in Nigeria is ahead of those of its African contemporaries.
Earlier, the Director, Investment Promotion and Mineral Trade (IPMT) in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Yunusa Mohammed, said the visit of Optiva Resources is sequel to the Ministry’s participation in the London Mines and Money Conference in December, 2021, adding that participation at such conferences is in order.
The Chief Executive Officer, Optiva Securities Limited, Christian Dennis who led the team said the company has been in Africa, adding that they are on a fact-finding mission to Nigeria because of its key interest in exploring investment opportunities in the precious metals and battery metals.
The members of the team include; Technical Director, Optiva Resources Limited, Charles Douglas Hamilton; Corporate Finance Executive Optiva Securites Limited, Mariela Jaho; Managing Director, NPL advisors, Francis Nwokedi and Executive Director, NPL Advisors, Confidence Shielu.
The Management Staff of MCO and the Team from the Investment Promotion and Mineral Trade (IPMT) unit of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development were also at the meeting.