Home » Nigeria Cracks Down on Illegal Mining, Revokes Over 1600 Licenses

Nigeria Cracks Down on Illegal Mining, Revokes Over 1600 Licenses

The move is aimed at reducing unlawful activities, attracting foreign investors, and diversifying the economy away from oil dependence.

by Motoni Olodun

Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr Dele Alake, has announced that the government has revoked 1,633 mining licenses as part of its efforts to curb illegalities and boost the sector’s contribution to the economy.

According to Alake, who spoke at the launch of a book titled “The Beauties of Nigeria” in Abuja, the move has led to a significant reduction in the rate of unlawful activities in the solid minerals sector, which has been plagued by environmental degradation, security threats, and revenue losses.

He said that out of 2,213 mining title holders, 1,633 defaulting titles have been revoked, while 580 law-abiding holders have had their licenses reinstated, a step towards stricter adherence to regulations within the sector.

Alake also highlighted the ministry’s success in attracting foreign investors from different countries, notably China, Mexico, the USA, and the United Kingdom, explaining that the efforts have culminated in the establishment of a lithium battery production factory, with China initiating operations in Nasarawa state.

He said the ministry is working assiduously to ensure the progress and prosperity of the sector in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration, which aims to diversify the economy away from oil dependence and create jobs for the youth.

“The mining industry has enormous potential to improve our communities’ socioeconomic conditions, increase Nigeria’s GDP, create jobs, progress technology, and lessen the nation’s excessive dependency on oil,” Alake said.

He commended the author of the book, Mr Bonaventure Melah, for his positive portrayal of Nigeria’s potential and called on all Nigerians to collaborate with the government in achieving the nation’s collective aspirations.

Nigeria is endowed with abundant mineral resources, estimated at over 44 types, including gold, iron ore, coal, limestone, tin, and gemstones. However, the sector has been largely underdeveloped, contributing less than one percent to the country’s GDP.

The government has been implementing various reforms and initiatives to revamp the sector and make it more attractive and competitive for investors. Some of these include the development of a roadmap for the growth and development of the sector, the establishment of a mining intervention fund, the creation of a mining cadastral office, and the enactment of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2023.

The government has also been collaborating with international partners and agencies, such as the World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations, to provide technical and financial support for the sector.

The revocation of the mining licenses is seen as a bold step by the government to sanitize the sector and ensure compliance with the best practices and standards. It is also expected to enhance the security and environmental sustainability of the mining communities and the country at large.

Source: The Guardian Nigeria


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