By Victoria Onehi
Minister of Mines and Steel Development Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite has said the award for best in digital innovation for the year 2022 recently received by the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office (NMCO) was a result of improved funding by the the Federal Government to the Ministry.
The Minister said this on Monday when the Director General (DG),Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) Engr Obadiah Simon Nkom, presented the award to him in his office in Abuja.
it would be recalled that MCO was recently awarded the best in digital innovation in the Federal Government category by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) for the year 2022.ng.
He said, “We must give kudos to whom it is due because MCO would not have been where it is today if not for the administration of the President Muhammadu Buhari. And I refer to this because the sector for the first time in history is enjoying some funding that it would not have had.
“The ministry had this extra budgetary funding which was given to us out of the natural resources fund. N30 billion was granted sometime in 2017. We also have the World Bank facilitated project, MINDIVER (Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project), in the ministry as well.
“So with a combination of these two funding, which essentially is from the federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari. It has uplifted the sector to where we are today, where we can celebrate the achievement of MCO.
“So this in essence, is a recognition of the attention the federal government has paid to the sector and we thank the government for that.”
The Minister praised the MCO for making the Ministry proud by winning first place in the Federal Government category for digital innovation in 2022.ng.
NiRA is a non-governmental organization entrusted with managing Nigeria’s country code top-level domain (ccTLD), dot.ng, which was formed in 2005 by the order of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said that MCO had gone through a lot in ensuring that the sector moved from analogue to digital to compete with the international standard.
“MCO has come a long way from the days of analogue record taking, issuance of licences among others but the office is now operating online; everything is now conducted online.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Mrs. Oluwatoyin Akinlade described the presentation ceremony as a very remarkable occasion in the annals of the ministry.
‘We celebrate the outstanding performance of one of our agencies, the Mining Cadastre Office.’
She explained that ‘digitalization and innovation are core elements of the service improvement agenda of the Head of Service of the Federation,’ adding that it is gratifying that the MCO has been rated the best in digital innovation among the Federal establishments in Nigeria for the Year 2022.
‘I therefore specially congratulate the Director General of the MCO, Engr Simon Nkom and all the staff for achieving the feat,’ she said.
Earlier, DG MCO Engi. Obadiah Nkom appreciated the minister and the Permanent Secretary for the support given to NMCO to operate and compete at the international level.
Nigeria Mining Cadestre Office, MCO, competed with other nominees such as Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and emerged the winner with highest votes.