Over 2,500 solid mineral titleholders have defaulted in the payment of their yearly service fees to the Federal Government. The Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) made public names of the defaulters and warned that their titles would be revoked.
In the report seen by The Guardian, 135 mining lease companies, 767 exploration license companies, 1,173 small-scale mining lease companies and 688 quarry lease companies are on the list.
The Cadastre office urged the defaulters to pay up before February 10, 2021, or have their titles revoked.
The report added that all mineral titleholders whose mineral titles had been previously revoked were required to pay their outstanding liabilities prior to the revocation of their titles.
“Notice is hereby given to the under listed defaulters, companies and or mineral titleholders to pay up all their outstanding annual service fees due and accrued to the Federal Government of Nigeria within 30 days of this publication, failure of which shall lead to revocation of all the valid titles concerned as contained in this publication.
“Please note that all mineral title holders whose mineral titles had been previously revoked by this office are also required to pay up all their outstanding liabilities prior to the revocation of their mineral titles in line with Section 155 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act (2007), failure of which necessary steps including legal action shall be taken against them to recover all the outstanding fees or liabilities as the case may be.
“Furthermore, it is also germane to inform all other mineral titleholders who are in default in the performance of their statutory obligations that this notice also serves as an intention to revoke their titles for non-compliance, if for whatever reason they fail within the 30 days period prescribed in this publication to take necessary steps to remedy all their defaults, in line with section 151 (1) and (2) of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act (2007) and the Regulations made pursuant to it.
“Please note this list is not exhaustive mineral title holders erroneously included in this list should take necessary steps to reconcile their records with the office.”
The Director-General of the MCO, Engr Simon Nkom said the move aimed to eliminate speculators in order to save the sector from the consequences of dormant mineral titles.
“There are companies who were issued mineral titles but failed to use the titles, and failed to pay dues accruable to government’ he said, adding that it is an anomaly that has serious consequences for the economy and the realization of the economic diversification agenda.
“It is when businesses pay their dues to the government that the sector will make great progress,’ stating that the effort of the MCO to eliminate speculators will enable the government to realize set goals for the sector.”