The director-general of the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO), Engr. Obadiah Nkom has urged both private and public companies to embrace mining in Nigeria as a means to attract foreign investors.
Nkom made this charge during the ongoing Nigeria Mining Week, organised by the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), MSMD, PWC, VUKA and Mining Review Africa in Abuja, themed “Capitalising on Nigeria’s Critical Mineral Resources for Its Economic Growth”.
The MCO is responsible for the administration and management of mineral titles in the cadastral register. Its vision is to provide an independent, efficient and transparent mining Cadastre system that grants and administers mining licenses and permits in line with best international practices. The mission is to deliver services reliably, effectively and professionally using objective standards and procedures in accordance with the provisions of the enabling law.
The principles of MCO’s operations in Nigeria include priority (first come, first served), use it or lose it, objectivity (based on legally defensible sets of regulations and procedures), non-discretionary (same rules for all), transparency and security of tenure.
Nkom stated that MCO aims to facilitate and enhance the administration of mineral titles in Nigeria, introducing the online mineral title administration and management system called the electronic mining cadastre system (eMC). The eMC is an online mineral title application processing and management system designed to assist the public administration of mineral titles efficiently and transparently throughout the life cycle of the title.
Key benefits of the eMC include improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria’s mining sector, increasing transparency, efficiency, and service delivery, reducing the total cost of operation, offering better service for operators and providing improved information services for decision-makers.
Discussing the licensing regime, Nkom emphasised that mining is a global business, with nations competing to attract mining investors to develop their mining resources responsibly. This requires a competitive investment climate that includes land allocation, policies and guidelines.
The MCO’s projects include upgrading the SIGTIM software to web-based/online mineral title administration and management (eMC+), developing and implementing a computerised online mineral title administration, upgrading geo-data reports from all 36 states and the FCT Abuja, enhancing staff performance, participating in international and local mining conventions and exhibitions, establishing mining cadastre offices in the six geopolitical zones to decentralize the MCO’s operations and creating an educational internship program connecting institutions with the industry.
An educational expert on applied and environmental geochemistry at the University of Ibadan, Prof. Akinade Olatunji, representing Rapidlink Group of Companies Limited Nigeria, noted that government policies encourage companies to offer internship opportunities as an incentive to create more opportunities for students and connect institutions with the industry.