Speed Up Revitalisation of Ajaokuta, ALSCON, Mining Council Urges FG

The Federal Government has been urged to speed up the revitalisation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd and Aluminium Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), as well as revive several moribund steel plants scattered across the country in a bid to grow the country’s steel sector and promote private sector participation in Steel development.

The National Council on Mining and mineral Resources Development (NCMMRD) which stated this also urged government to, as a matter of urgency, compile a nationwide inventory of miners, active mining sites, processing companies, personnel and machinery in order to create an all-encompassing data bank to be used in advising potential investors and for investment planning.

Also, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development is to start forwarding the list of licence holders in every state of the Federation to their respective State government on quarterly basis for proper documentation.

These are part of the decisions reached at the three-day maiden meeting of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development (NCMMRD), as contained in the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting.

The NCMMRD’s inaugural meeting was attended by Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries of Minerals and Mining ministries across the 36 states between September 12 and 14 in Abuja. The council meeting was haired by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi.

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According to the communiqué, the meeting which did a comprehensive review of the mining sector agreed that some major steps must be taken in order to increase the current growth being experienced in the sector.

The meeting also agreed that there must be synergy between the federal Government, States and Local governments to ensure that the country take full advantage of its vast mineral deposits.

Other decisions of the council, include the establishment of a forum of Commissioners responsible for Mineral Resources Development. This, according to them, would encourage constant feedback engagement with the Federal Government and to monitor progress on areas that have been agreed.

The Communique reads in part: “Current effort at bringing Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd and Aluminium Smelting Company of Nigeria should be invigorated and every effort should be made by Government to revive Moribund Steel Plants and promote private sector participation in Steel development;

“A private sector driven Single Export Window Policy is recommended. Modalities should be put in place at every exit point and Ports in the country for Quantity and Quality analysis. This will monitor and record all mineral exports and ascertain appropriate royalties and certifications, including the installation of weigh bridges, credible international inspection outfits and the likes. This will also promptly address the mineral revenue leakage that occurs through the exit Ports.

“There should be synergy among Federal, State Governments & Local Government Areas through the instrumentality of Minerals Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) as provided for by Section 19 of Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007, the committee should be strengthened where it already exists and those dormant in every State should be reactivated.

“There should be synergy between the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the State Governments to improve operational collaboration and enhance communication for effective execution of the Roadmap for the growth and development of the mining industry.

“In issuance of the certificate of origin, the Federal and State Governments should collaborate through MIREMCO in analysing and tagging of minerals at source with a view of determining appropriate royalties.

“Adequate capacity building, funding and logistics support should be provided for the appropriate technical departments of the Ministry to ensure effective monitoring and enforcement in the mines fields.

“Improved data collation and recording of Minerals production should be emphasized. This implies that the target set in the Roadmap for 2025 to contribute 3% to the GDP could be surpassed.

“The curbing of illegal mining activities should be pursued continuously and existing framework to curb minerals smuggling should be activated by relevant agencies.

“Existing audit and control mechanisms for monitoring of mineral exports to curb under-declaration of mineral exports should be strengthened.

“The repatriation of proceeds, royalties and taxes accruing from exported minerals through the appropriate government procedures and channels should be vigorously pursued;

“Adequate capacity building, funding and logistics support should be provided for the appropriate technical departments of the Ministry to ensure effective monitoring and enforcement in the mines fields.

“Concrete effort should be made by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), the Federal Ministry of Environment and State Ministries of Environment on issuance of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports.”

The next meeting of the council is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018. It is to be hosted by one of the states.

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