20 August 2020 by Julian Osamoto
The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development says it will establish a comprehensive electronic database for effective information management of mining activities in the country.
At a virtual meeting organized by a Civil Society Organization Global Rights Nigeria in Abuja, the Minister Mr Olamilekan Adegbite said the move would ensure that all information on natural assets were optimally harnessed to yield expected benefits that would address poverty and wealth creation.
He noted that while focusing on revenue generation for the nation, the ministry would not compromise the safety of host communities of mining sites against environmental hazards.
“The Ministry intends to organize the informal and small scale miners into legal economic businesses that would improve livelihood of rural communities and their wellbeing. Government is financing the country’s mineral exploration project to generate credible geoscience capable of encouraging investors into the mining sector”
“The Artisanal miners would also be mainstreamed into the legal system for effective management. The Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee, MIREMCO, had been strengthened across the States, to torch light the activities of miners and address issues of compensation as well as community relations”.
Chairman Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, Engr. Elias Mbam, stressed that the commission had been carrying out series of programs to promote fiscal justice in the disbursement of revenues to States.
“The Commission, on a routine basis, generates indices revenue collection which forms the basis for paying the 13% derivation to the mineral producing states.
To display Fiscal Justice in the payment of the 13% derivation,The Commission also on monthly basis, through the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), constantly engages with the Commissioners of Finance of all the States in the Federation”
Also Speaking the Director Mines and Environmental Compliance, Engr Sallim Salaam, listed some identified barriers to effective transformation of the mines sector to include;
“Weak mechanisms for gathering and archiving critical geological data needed by investors while operators in the Sector also face a range of challenges from insufficient infrastructure to policy uncertainty that constrain investor confidence. The decline of the Sector resulted in reduced focus and leverage from key stakeholders, undue inference in legislations by states, multiple taxations, weak enforcement and inadequate workforce.”
Earlier, the Country Director Global Rights Nigeria, Ms Abiodun Baiyewu, emphasized that in every mining activity , the basic natural resources which are water and climate, should be given maximum attention as it has direct impact on the environmental and well being of the host communities.
The Stakeholders expressed optimism in the approved roadmap for the sector, as aided by the World Bank assistance, through the MinDiver Project.