Nigerian Government to establish mining commission

Hassan Abubakar, Abuja

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr KayodeFayemi

In a bid to regulate mining activities, ensure predictability in its mining sector and boost local and international investments, the Nigerian Government has concluded arrangements to establish the Nigerian Mining Commission, to take charge of the regulatory role of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr KayodeFayemi, who disclosed this at the Nigeria Day event at the ongoing African Mining Indaba, in Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday, said the law setting up the commission is already with the National Assembly.

The Presentation of the new Airborne Electromagnetic Survey Results, a major high point of the Wednesday event at the week-long mining conference was witnessed by renowned stakeholders in global mining, including Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals of Venezuela, Franklin Ramirez Araque;  Australian Ambassador to Nigeria, Paul Lehman, Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Ahmed Musa Ibeto and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry,

Others include representatives of top mining conglomerates, mining nations such as Canada, Zambia, Angola, South Africa and Senegal.

The Minister said government was determined to strengthen regulation in the sector as well as ensure the improvement of its geological data.

He said the commission, which would be known as the Nigerian Mining Commission, would not only be the final authority on regulatory matters; it would also take charge of mining leases.

“To achieve this ,we have to put certain things in place, including provable data, sound regulations, capacity building for Artisanal and Small Scale Miners as well as asses to funding” he said.

He stated further that the ministry would undertake more extensive electromagnetic Airborne Geological Survey of some promising parts of the country this year, as well as the completion of the National Mineral Database.

 “We want to ensure predictability that is what we want to offer. We want to be a big mining designation” the Minister said.

The Minister also restated government’s determination to enhance its collaboration with the state governments and the host communities, a development which he said was being worked out administratively and through the establishment of the National Council on Mining and Minerals Development Council, where the states are playing active roles.

He was optimistic that the combination of the various reforms being put in place, inputs by the National Council on Mining and Minerals Resources Development and the Chamber of Mining would help to reposition the sector for better result.

Top speakers who spoke on various aspects of the New Electromagnetic Survey results include Gaig Annison, Director, Business Development, Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CCG) Airborne Surveys PTY, Australia, who anchored the presentation.

He described Nigeria as a nation taking very bold steps towards becoming a major mining destination.

Also Speaking at the event, Venezuela’s Deputy Minister of Mines and minerals, Franklin Ramirez Araque, said the oil and gas rich country was also diversifying to mining in a bid to shore up its economy as Nigeria is doing, adding that the country has a lot to learn from Nigeria in its economic diversification efforts.

Four major mining companies with operations in Nigeria- Promothean, Symbol Mining, Segilola and Africa International Mining Company – also gave testimonies in support of the current reforms in the Nigerian Mining sector.