By Tola Akinmutimi
The federal government on Tuesday hinted that it had initiated some policy measures to ensure that revenue leakages from the nation’s mining sector were plugged and also make the industry more investment-friendly.
Olamilekan Adegbite, the minister for mines and steel development, gave this hint during a roundtable session at the ongoing 25th Nigerian Economic Summit, NES, in Abuja
The minister hinted that government was considering the training and subsequently empowering young graduates for the purposes of helping in monitoring volume of minerals evacuated at from mining sites nationwide and the amount of revenue accruable to government from such activities.
According to him, the development has become imperative in view of the fact that there are few federal mining officers in some states where mining operations are being carried out.
Adegbite explained that the young graduates would complement the work of the field mining officers by covering areas not being monitored by the latter.
For instance, he cited Ogun State where quarrying activities are being carried out but where reliable data on what is being extracted and revenue due government are not available, amongst other locations requiring proper monitoring nationwide, saying that this cannot be allowed to continue.
The minister said: “We also realise that the rules are in place, what is required is monitoring and enforcement. We are now proposing something, which is we could get young graduates, send them to get certain experience, we pay them minimum wage and we assign like about 20 to every mine officer and they can monitor, thereby generating more revenue for the government. That is what we are thinking, it is not crystallised yet.”
Adegbite also spoke about plans by government to creating linkages among the three critical agencies in the Nigerian mining industry, the Mining Cadastre Office, the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, NGSA and the Mining Inspectorate with a view to holistically capturing the activities in the sector.
To ensure this, he disclosed that government had commenced the digitalization of operations in the Cadastre Office and the NGSA to allow real-time monitoring of licence holders, activities of each miner across the country from anywhere in the world
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