The Director-General of the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (NMCO), Mr Obadiah Nkom, has said the agency revoked 3,402 mining titles between September 2021 and September 2022.
He disclosed this on Thursday at the State House briefing organised by the Presidential Communications team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Nkom, who said the agency now has about 6,000 registered miners nationwide, unveiled plans to raise more revenue by revoking more unutilised titles in 2023.
He said the agency considered the implementation of the ‘use it or lose it’ principle because some people holding titles were not using them.
He added that miners who lost their titles defaulted on paying the mandatory annual service fees.
The DG added that NMCO recently published a list of defaulters numbering 3,032.
He said: “And, we are very transparent; if you need the certified true copy of any document, an application belonging to anybody or any licence or whatever, the law permits us to give it to you.
“Because anything we are doing can be a subject of litigation.
“And, we equally have people that have grants; they have been communicated, but when you cancel it, you see lawyers writing us about following the provisions.
“We have gazetted them; that is what the law says; We have gazetted 495 for people who have grants because we are going to cancel them when the time elapses.”
Nkom, who said there were also people who were issued licences but refused to collect them, added that the law provided that such defaulters be gazetted before action would be taken.
“You send letters to the applicant’s address; and if after 30 days, he does not remedy the defect, you revoke or you gazette.
As much as we appreciate communication, some people will look for windows for excuses to give at the court, but once it is on the gazette, we ensure we put it on our website so that you don’t have any excuses.”
“The gazette is final; we now have those ones to arm ourselves so that at the end of the day, we know what it is to lose a case,” he said.
Nkom said the office generated N14.59bn from 2018 to 2022, adding that the agency ensured that only the rightful people were given licences.
In 2018, 2019 and 2020, the agency generated N1.55bn, N2.38bn and N2.57bn respectively.
However, between 2021 and 2022, its revenue fell from N4.3bn to N3.79bn.
He attributed the revenue drop to changes in its internal operating system that temporarily affected revenue inflow.
According to him, 100 per cent of the office’s revenues are sent to the Treasury Single Account of the federal government.
Nkom said the bulk of the revenue came from applications, processing and annual service fees, representing 50 per cent of the annual revenue generated by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
He said the introduction of electronic mining cadastre was aimed at repositioning the agency, stressing that it would have a huge increase in revenue generation.
He also said Nigerian coal was sought after all over the world.