CSOs commend Alake, Nkom on achievements in mining sector

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake
Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake

 

 

By JOHN ONAH, Abuja –

 

After a painstaking independence assessment of developments in the nation’s miming industry, 30 civil society organisations have applauded the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake and the Director General of Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, Engr. Obadiah Simon Nkom, on their achievements in the mining industry.

The groups said the various sterling leadership qualities of the duo in driving President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda in the mining sector have given Nigerians hope of a new beginning in the country.

The 30 incorporated non-governmental,nonpartisan organizations headed by Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI), a leading peace and good governance advocacy organization in Africa, insisted that the diversification of the nation’s revenue from the oil sector to non oil by the Tinubu’s government was what Nigeria was long waiting for, thanking both Alake and Nkom for achieving the feat.

The groups’ position was conveyed in a joint statement on Tuesday, signed by Amb. Melvin Ejeh, Executive Director,GOPRI; Dr Ibrahim Khalifa, National Co-ordinator,Center For Justice and Good Governance in Africa;Engr. Bashir Dan Zaria, Executive Director, Conference of North West Professionals Network (CONOWP);Dr Mrs Remi Edun, National Co-ordinator, Community Action for Development (CAD) and Dr Mrs Ngozi Amechi, National Women Empowerment Network.(NAWOEN), respectively.

The coalition while noting that Nigeria, blessed with abundant mineral resources, has no reason to be dependent on dwindling oil revenue,commended the Minister for turning the tide with ongoing reforms of the mining sector, in line with his 7-point agenda.

The organisations said they were particularly elated that the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office has been fully digitalized and reformed under the Current Director General, noting that with the development,it can favourably compete anywhere in the world.

To this effect, they passed a vote of confidence on the minister and the Director General of NCO even as they alerted of a clandestine plan by some group of persons displaced by the administration for engaging in illicit activities in the sector.

They therefore,advised the government and Nigerians to be on the lookout for any campaign of calumny against the agency and its leadership.

According to the groups,the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office recorded a cumulative 86 percent increase in revenue generation, raking in N9.3 billion between 2019 and 202l under Nkom,as compared to N4.8 billion generated in the corresponding period of between 2016 and 2018.

This,they noted,was attested by former President Mohammadu Buhari when he reappointed him to pilot the Cadastre Office for a renewed term of four years.

“Under the leadership of Engr. Nkom in the past four years, the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office recorded 86 per cent increase in revenue generation, raking in over N8.9 billion between 2019 and 2021 compared to N4.8 billion generated in the corresponding period of 2016 – 2018. This also accounts for about 50 per cent of the contribution of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to the economy,”the statement quoted Buhari as saying.

“Given our independent assessment of developments in the mining sector of the our dear country,we have passed a vote of confidence on the Hon. Minister of Solid Minerals Development,Dr. Dele Alake and the Director General of Nigeria Cadastre Office, Engr Obadiah Nkom for their sterling leadership qualities in driving Mr president’s Renewed Hope agenda on the mining sector and diversification of the nation’s revenue from the oil sector to non oil.

“Our position is premised on the elaborate and independent assessment carried out in the Ministry and the Mining Cadastre Office in Abuja in line with our civil society engagement and accountability programmes for public office holders and agencies,”the statement said

Continuing,the coalition said:” We make bold to say that we were shocked with the kind of transformation and massive reforms going in the Ministry of Solid Minerals, particularly the Nigeria Mining Cadastral Office.

“From our finding, the Nigeria Mining Cadastre has been fully digitalized and reformed under the Current DG and can compete with anywhere in the world.

“Out findings show that the revenue profile of the agency since his assumption in 2019 has skyrocketed to an extent where it is now one of the major contributors to the nation’s non oil revenue With this feat,we must commend him.”

“We are, however, alerting the government and Nigerians to be on the lookout for any campaign of calumny against the agency and its leadership.

From the kind of reforms going on in the Nigeria Cadastre Office, some big players who specialize in illegal and fraudulent mining activities that have been displaced may want to fight back the agency and the DG .

“We have however vow to legally defend the agency, the DG and all it staffs until Mr Presidents vision of non oil revenue sufficiency is achieved under the Renewed Hope Agenda,”it vowed.

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