By Palma Ileye
Senate Committee Chairman on Solid Minerals Development, Engr. Osita Ngwu has commended the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, MCO, for its migration to electronic mining cadastre in line with best practices, saying that the Government was having a new direction from oil to solid minerals and that the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is serious in developing the economy through the mineral sector.
Ngwu in a press release issued yesterday by Folasade Fatoke, Head of Press of the Agency stated this during his familiarisation visit to MCO.
He commended the Director General, Engr. Nkom and his team for the continuous rise in its revenue profile since inception.
He said, “The Government is looking at gas exploration and solid mineral but we know the challenges of the solid mineral industry, putting all this challenges together, we are going to look at the legislative framework and get the system working.”
He particularly acknowledged the legal and ICT units for “doing a good job” saying that very soon the agency will migrate to “plus plus.”
He said, “My visit here is to familiarise myself with the agency and not to ask questions because we are still studying what is going on and looking at the policy direction of the government because the government has to direct, ours is to support, oversight and put up legislative framework to make sure that the government succeed.
“Nigeria is important to everybody we’re all going to work as a team together to make sure that the country move forward.”
The Senate Committee Chairman expressed the need for all to work together despite challenges facing the sector.
He assured full support of the Senate so as to make the desired progress in the sector.
“One thing for sure is that we are going to completely look at the system together such that we look at the challenges ………so one thing you can be assured is our support to make progress, if we don’t make progress the country doesn’t make progress,” he added.
He pledged unfailing support of the National Assemble and partnership with the agency, adding that, “there will be meetings that we are all going to do that will require us to make contributions. The bottom line is for us to achieve the set objectives and support the Government.”
The Director General of Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, Engr. Obadiah Simon Nkom in his earlier power point presentation said that the agency’s mandate was to grant mining licence across the country, adding that MCO is the only legal way to mining industry.
Nkom explained that MCO was made up of multi – disciplinary professions, explaining that the technical department consists of the mining engineers, Geologists, surveyors among others adding that major reforms like migrating to a web-based online (real time mineral title administration system has led to investor’s confidence.
He explained that organisation structure and establishment of full operational Zonal Offices in six geopolitical zones has also boosted efficiency.
“We have an organisational structure and we have the Zonal Offices in six geopolitical zones with various departments and staff being able to have different functions. The mining cadastre is made up of multi- disciplinary professions where the technical department particular, the mining engineers, geologists, GIS experts, computer scientists and the supporting departments, the admin, finance, procurement, most importantly, the legal department,” he said.
The MCO boss stated that the agency since inception has enjoyed a near 100% success in litigation which ranges from communities and other conflicts.
He said, “Our legal unit is very strong because anywhere you have wealth, you will know that there are always challenges and people has reasons to go to court. So far so good, since the inception of mining cadastre and we have series of litigations and irrespective of that we have a near 100 per cent success in litigations.”
The DG solicited the assistance and inputs from the National Assembly to improve Mining Cadastre Office and transform the mining sector in the country.