The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, has announced plans to review rates of mining licenses and other sundry fees payable by mining operators in the country.

Speaking during a consultative meeting with stakeholders in the mining industry, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake emphasised the imperative of the review to boost the capacity of government to effectively reposition the mining sector.

Highlighting efforts to reposition the mining industry, the Minister revealed that asides from on-going reforms, the federal government is sanitising the mining environment through the newly unveiled mining marshals, which he affirmed has been conducting operations in parts of the country to protect legitimate miners and combat illegal mining.

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A statement by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Segun Tomori, stated that while soliciting the support of stakeholders for the impending increase in fees for mining licenses and other sundry fees, Alake stressed that this has become inevitable if government is to effectively fulfil its obligations of providing an enabling environment for mining operations whilst also raising more revenue for government.

“For us to continue to ensure that we secure the mining environment and keep putting in place measures that will ease the operational difficulties and challenges that confront miners, we need to review the rates of mining licenses and other sundry fees. We felt that we can’t just do this without letting you know because invariably, you are the players in the industry,” the minister added.

Concerning the recent revocation of dormant mining licenses, the Minister noted that the government followed due process and extant laws guiding the action, emphasising that a 30-day restitution window still exists for operators that were affected.

It will be recalled that the minister announced a restitution fee of N10m, 7.5m, 5m and 2.5m for Mining Leases, Small Scale Mining Licenses (SSML), Exploration License (EL) and Quarrying License respectively for revoked dormant licenses including those earlier revoked for default in payment of annual service fees.

In his submission, the Director-General of the Mining Cadastral Office, Obadiah Nkom, who also chaired the fees review committee, stated that the committee recommended new rates that are affordable and will enhance the competitiveness of the fiscal regime of the mining sector in comparison with regional and global standards.

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Speaking on behalf of the stakeholders, the President of the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dele Ayanleke commended the Minister for his efforts to put the mining sector on global frontburner, expressing support for ongoing reforms and plans to review fees payable by operators. He urged the minister to consider challenges faced by miners and ensure the rates are affordable.

Stakeholders In attendance include President of Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dele Ayanleke, Representatives of Women In Mining (WIN), Gemstone Miners Association (GMA), top officials of the ministry and a host of others.

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