By Musa Adamu
Between 2015 and 2016 Nigeria has increased its revenue earning from the mining sector by 300 percent, Minister of Mines and Solid Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi has revealed.
Speaking at the closing of the maiden edition of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources in Abuja, Dr Fayemi said the feat was encouraging, giving that the sector had already surpassed the entire revenue of N2 billion for the whole of 2016.
Further highlighting some of the achievements in the sector since the launch of the Roadmap, he said the Mining Cadastre office now meets target of issuing licenses within 30-45 days as stipulated in the Mining Act.
He mentioned other achievements to include the review of mineral royalties and licensing fees, which he said had led to increase in the revenue for the country.
He said in order to stem the illegal mining the ministry had registered over 30 mineral buying centres and had enacted the revenue and reporting compliance agreement with the Nigeria customs, a move that had improved the policing of mineral exports.
The Council on mining and mineral resources met between 12th and 14th October in Abuja to deliberate on the challenges confronting the sector and recommend possible solutions.
According to him, other expectations were a wider spectrum of vibrant participants across the value chain, a solid archive and data base of geosciences research and a thriving enabling environment that provides key support infrastructure.
In his contribution, Bong Gwom of Jos, Jacob Buba, called on the government to be mindful on the wellbeing of the people as the mining activities take place.
He recalled that since the health needs of the host communities were not treated with importance during the past mining activities in Jos, the people have been battling with cases of cancer long after the activities had ended.
He also pointed out that as the country geta serous abiut mining once more, there was the need to take the issue of land reclamation serious so as not to leave the host communities to suffer the consequences.
He said those involved in the mining activities must be made to abide the extant laws governing their activities.