By Victoria Onehi
To improve the Ease of Doing Business in the mining sector, the Mining Cadastral Office, MCO, has launched the new Electronic Mining Cadastre Plus, eMC+, which will help in the administration and management of mineral titles to ensure transparency and accessibility.
Speaking during the Opening Ceremony of the 6th edition of 2022 Mining Week and the official launching of the eMC+ at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, the Director General, Nigeria Mining Cadastral Office, MCO, Engr Simon Obadiah Nkom disclosed that the newly upgrade system was in line with the mandate of the best practices in the sector.
Nkom noted that the eMC+ was created and launched in the bid to advance technologically, and operate effectively and efficiently adding that it will enable the ease of doing business.
He said: “It is an electronic mining cadastral system and you are very much aware the mandate of the Nigerian mining cadastral is administration and management of mineral titles. So we must be able to now do it in the best way possibly. And at the end of the day in line with the law, because when you look at practices of mineral titles in the world, you will know that definitely there is need for transparency.
“The electronic filing system initially were computerized, but now we have migrated to an online system, which simply means that you can stay anywhere in the world. You can even use your phone to be able to have access to this system. By the time you have access to the Mining Cadastre Office information, it makes the system very transparent and accessible.
“And if you ask me, What are the benefits, the benefits are majorly talking about the Ease of Doing business. We are talking about time management, one does not really need to spend two days or three days to come to Nigeria to acquire titles, all that is need is to use your phone.
“It can also eliminate the stress of travelling. At the end of the day, you find out that it becomes more effective and more efficient, and easily usable. You can use your phone or laptops to operate the eMC+.
He said that through the new upgrade, the country can have an increase in revenue generation, saying, “looking at it locally. It will now encourage foreign investments into the sector. More people will be able to see its transparency, also Nigeria will be able to benefit from these aspect in revenue generation.
Nkom who also doubles as Chairman, Bitumen Committee stressed that the electronic Mining Cadastre system – eMC+ was a management system which assist in public administration of mineral titles in a responsible, efficient and transparent manner, throughout the life cycle of the mineral titles online(real-time) and that the system is designed to cater for the entire process of mineral title administration from application submission, payment of fees, granting up to issuance of certificate.
Speaking on MCO’s achievement in terms of boosting the country’s economy, he said, “over the past years, we have surpass each year’s revenue irrespective of the challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic. We surpassed from 2019 up to date, in fact, in 2021, We had an 86% increase of revenue. So we hope at the end of the day, we’ll continue to be able to add adequate value and revenue to our economy irrespective of illegal activities in the sector.”
The MCO boss explained, “again other benefits of this upgrade is ease of getting licenses, just like we have said there will be centers dedicated to people who don’t know how to use the newly launched system so they will be able to know how to use it, at the end of the day it will definitely create a lot of change to Nigeria, particularly in making an impact in the mining sector.”
He continued, “Therefore, I look at this launch as just the beginning of the work. We need to continually improve on it, we will continue to upgrade the system to make sure it is more compatible with all other systems.
“And most importantly there are a lot of competitions in the world. When people come to Nigeria, they ask if the are laws are very favorable, yes the laws and geology is favourable. We have abundant minerals, mining in the country is very transparent. We are able to now form good policies and whatever decisions that will make Nigeria, a destination in the mining world.
“Again by the mandate of the Nigerian Mining Cadastre, this is just the beginning. We are supposed to look at other countries. And definitely one thing that the mining cadastre does is not to think of challenges, but to think of how to move forward irrespective of the challenges, despite the challenges our revenue went up.
“People ask whether our statistics is transparent, yes it is very transparent, the MCO is a public office and we owe to the public information that is needed because there is nothing to hide in terms of development. They also ask how do we get revenue? The revenues that we get is simply from simple processing of licenses.”Nkom explains.