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MCO engages anti-corruption agencies to check illicit funds inflow

By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
31 May 2022   |   2:47 am
The Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) says the agency is working closely with the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

The Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) says the agency is working closely with the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption agencies to ensure illicit funds are not invested into the mining sector.

The Director-General of NMCO, Obadiah Nkom, disclosed this while receiving the members of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), on a courtesy visit in Abuja.

He noted that MCO had recently published names of about 4,000 mineral title holders that defaulted in the non-payment of service charge, not utilising mineral titles, among others.

Nkom said: “One of the conditions to accept an investor to become a mineral title holder was to have a legal attestation of no conviction. A mining titleholder must have a legal attestation that he or she is free of conviction and this will be done in writing and recorded for future purposes and for transparency.

“We have engaged and are working closely with Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and EFCC to know the beneficiary of mineral titles because some don’t have their real name on their titles.

“We make sure we know the beneficiaries of the mineral titles for the sake of transparency, corruption-free which is an international procedure,” he said.

He further said that the law indicated that MCO should write to the address given by mineral title holders with acknowledgement and gazette the notification for future references.

“We don’t want a mining investor to obtain a licence from MCO and refuse to use it, depriving other investors of taking advantage of that area. Some investors hold firm to mineral titles, pay their statutory fees as required but that is not enough, not putting those titles to work contravenes the provision of the Act because they are dormant.”

Executive Director of ACEP, Benjamin Boakye, sought partnership with the agencies to ensure that Nigeria’s mineral sector can contribute to development, create jobs and generate tax revenue for the country.

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