Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development, says that the Federal Government will revoke more licences of defaulting holders in 2024.
This was contained in the minister’s year-end message to Nigerians. According to him, President Bola Tinubu’s vision of diversifying the economy through renewed focus on solid minerals is on course, asserting that reforms in the sector will yield tremendous results in the new year.
The minister recalled the earlier revocation of 1,633 mining licences from operators who defaulted in payment of annual service fees.
He said, “I felicitate Nigerians for making it through 2023 into the year 2024. It is pertinent that we collectively look forward to the horizon of the new year, with renewed hope, especially because it signposts the first fiscal year of the Tinubu administration.
“On our part in the solid minerals development ministry, we will be consolidating on reforms that commenced with our ambitious 7-point agenda, on assumption of office, four months ago. Nigerians can rest assured that an efficient governance structure that will transform the opaque nature of the mining sector will crystallise in the new year.
“It will be recalled that we had revoked 1,633 mining licenses of those that defaulted in the payment of annual service fees last year. More revocation is in the offing for other categories of defaulters in 2024”
The minister also noted that efforts on the exploration of critical minerals which started last year with the signing of an MOU with German firm, GeoScan GmbH for the deployment of proprietary technology to explore minerals up to 10,000m under the earth will be ramped up with renewed vigour by the Federal Government.
This, according to him, was crucial for the development of the sector as it will lead to the generation of big geo-data required for global players to make informed decisions about investing in the industry.
Alake further urged Nigerians to keep faith with the Tinubu administration, emphasising that reforms in the mining sector and other areas will jumpstart the real sector and lead to immense jobs and prosperity for all Nigerians.
“We are prioritising value addition for prospective investors in the mining sector. The era of just carting away our resources is over. We want to see practical plans to develop these raw materials into finished products or plans to add value to host communities before we even license new operators.
“This is pertinent so that the mining sector can lead the way in industrialisation, create massive jobs for our teeming young population, and contribute substantially to economic development in the new year,” Alake added.
He said that plans to tackle the menace of insecurity in mining areas alongside the activities of illegal miners through a rejigged security architecture is well on course.