The immediate outgone director general of the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (MCO); Eng Mohammed Amate, has said the Mining Cadastre is the gateway to mining.
He also said if the agency is allowed to go down, the sector will go down.
Eng Amate stated this while handing over to the incoming director general of the agency, Eng Obadiah Simon Nkom, who took over from him in Abuja, yesterday.
According to Eng Amate, “My only appeal is that we built this agency from nothing to what it is today and our guiding principles have always been integrity, rule of law and transparency and I hope that these guiding principles will continue in this agency.
He said, “The gateway to mining is the Mining Cadastre and if you allow it to go down, then the sector goes down.”
He further charged the incoming DG to ensure that whatever he does, he should do with the fear of God and make sure his conscience is clear and follow the principles of the mining Cadastre office.
The outgoing DG, who stressed that he owed no one any apology in the course of his work said, “Whatever I did, I did it conscientiously bearing in mind that at that time, it was the right thing to do for the industry.”
He said, “prior to the setting up of the MCO, it took between one and two years but now they can issue licences within 30-45 working days.”
He revealed that from the inception of the office till date, they had issued well over 7000 licences, but today, what we have on our data base is about 4500 licences because of the dynamics of the Cadastre system and because some where cancelled, some expired and some are very active.
In his remarks, the new director general, Eng Obadiah Simon Nkom, who commended the contribution of his predecessor said, “We are ready to take the Mining Cadastre to the next level, particularly at this critical moment of Nigeria’s development, in relation to the economy and diversification of the government into agriculture and solid minerals.”
“Mining Cadastre particularly had been a key agency in the development of the sector and one of the key things that we intend to do is to be able to restore investors’ confidence and be able to attract more investment into the sector, making sure that we bring speculators to nil.’
“This aspect of people getting licences and keeping them and not allowing these areas to be free will not happen again,” he said
“We will make sure that people who hold unto licences will have no option but to develop it through ‘the use it or lose it policy.’
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