The Nigerian Minister of Mines declared the revocation of 1,633 mining titles on Tuesday, citing non-payment of statutory annual service fees as the primary reason. This action is part of a broader initiative, targeting 2,213 titles for revocation, encompassing 536 exploration licences, 279 quarry licences, 787 small-scale mining licences, and 31 mining leases. Minister Dele Alake refrained from disclosing the names of affected companies.
Emphasizing adherence to Nigeria’s mining law, which mandates annual service fee payments, Alake revealed that only 580 title holders settled their debts within the stipulated 30-day notice period, which concluded on November 10. The revocations align with the government’s commitment to reform the mining industry, positioning it for enhanced international competitiveness.
The minister clarified that these measures are integral to the broader strategy of revitalizing Nigeria’s underdeveloped mining sector, which presently contributes less than 1% to the nation’s GDP. As Africa’s leading oil producer, Nigeria aims to diversify its economy away from oil dependence, with a particular focus on leveraging its significant reserves of gold, limestone, and zinc.
In a bid to attract investments and foster sectoral growth, Nigeria previously disclosed plans in September to establish a state-backed company. This entity is envisioned to facilitate investments in the extraction of various minerals, including gold, coal, iron-ore, baryte, lead, bitumen, and limestone.
IMAGE: Catholic reporter