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FG revokes 1633 mining licences in Nigeria over unpaid fees




The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, has revoked 1633 mineral titles over unpaid annual fees.

This was disclosed by the ministry, Dr Oladele Alake, on Tuesday, at a press briefing in Abuja.

The number of revoked licences this year is less than the 3,402 mineral titles revoked late last year.

According to the minister, the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act (NMMA) 2007 requires mining operators to pay an annual service fee at a fixed rate but some firms are not complying with this law.

The minister noted that the amount required annually is as low as N1500 for cadastral units not more than 200 units.

He lamented that the mining firms are making huge profits from mining sites but still fail to make necessary payments to the government.

Alake said:

The minister said that section 12 of the NMMA 2007 stipulates that when a payment default occurs, the Mining Cadastre Office, which is in charge of mineral titles in the country, should give a 30-day notice to the defaulting party.

However, if such a defaulting party fails to make any payment within that warning period, the licence becomes liable to revocation.

He added that there is a platform called EMC+ for obtaining licences, which automatically notifies licensees.

Alake noted that operators of about 2,213 titles were granted a 30-day notice so that they could pay their fees.

However, only 580 titleholders responded to the notice and paid their annual fees.

He said:

The minister warned that those whose licences have been revoked should vacate mining sites to avoid being apprehended by security agencies.