Economic Diversification: Mining stakeholders back eMC+
Stakeholders in Nigeria’s mining sectors have backed the Electronic Mining Cadastre Plus (eMC+), stating that the online Application is key for diversifying the economy.
Speaking recently at the unveiling of eMC+ which coincided with the 6th edition of Nigeria Mining Week, operators in the mining sector recalled that Nigeria is endowed with 44 solid minerals.
They boasted of vast deposits of such minerals as barytes, iron ore, copper, manganese, coal, limestone, bitumen, gold, lead-zinc, graphite and rock salt; and believed that effective harnessing of the minerals will raise revenue base of the country beside oil.
At the event was the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who stated that the deployment of a digital application at the Mining Cadastre office in Abuja, and its offices in the six geo-political zones of the country for the grant and administration of mining titles was a right step towards the escalation of geological information gathering, storage and dissemination of data in the country.
“This has led to increased mineral fields across the country and the issuance of exploration licenses to miners. We must also appreciate the return of the geological data generated in Nigeria during the pre-independence era by the British Geological Survey Agency.”
Adding: “The availability of these data in the recently established National Geo-data Center at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency is a big boost to the sector. The organization of informal miners into productive work groups is another landmark activity.”
In his remarks, the Director General, Mining Cadastre Office, Engineer Simon O. Nkom, explained that eMC+ online platform will grant access to all existing investors and prospective ones from any part of the world to its information mandate.
He added that the Electronic Mining Cadastre Plus (eMC+), will make it easy to do business in country’s mining sector.
He observed that from 2019 till date, the agency had 86 per cent increase of revenue, stressing that the eMC+ will add adequate value and revenue to the mining sectors.
Nkom said: “The mandate of Nigerian mining cadastre is administration and management of mineral titles. So, we must be able to do that in the best way possible.
At the end of the day, it becomes more effective, efficient, easily usable and at the same time, you find out that when you can simply use your phone or laptop to do the business rather than spending so much on transportation.
“Looking at it locally, it will now encourage foreign investments into the sector. More people will see transparency and choose which country to go to, and then, Nigeria will benefit from the aspect of revenue generation.
“Already, Mining Cadastre might not be core revenue generation but I want to tell you that astronomically over the past years, we have had to surpass each year’s revenue irrespective of the challenges, especially the COVID-19 pandemic”, he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, stated that the ministry will intensify efforts to make the mining sector more competitive in the global mining space, and to satisfy the needs of domestic global goals.
He said: “Application of digital processes in the governance of the sector have brought about a number of strategic investments in the development of digitized platforms and technology infrastructure to support digital systems in the governance of the mining sector.
“Government is currently establishing a complete and comprehensive national electronic geo-databank which will assist in quick and effective information management and investment decisions. The geo-data will be easily accessible in a digital form throughout the world.
“A Remote Sensing Centre initially targeted at informal mining sites is currently being established at the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Department at the Ministry Headquarters.
“The remote sensing is intended to cover the whole of Nigeria and has the ability to locate small and large scale mining sites. This system will greatly assist in the control and management of informal miners operating in all parts of the country.
“Advancing the formalization of information mining operations in Nigeria, it is imperative to note that artisanal and small-scale mining operations constitute over 80 per cent of mining in the country. They form an important constituent of the sector and they operate outside the constituted legal system while their operations is inimical to the environment and economy of the nation.”