21 December 2012

Nigeria: NEITI's Report On MCO Not Current - DG

The Director General of the Mining Cadastre Office (DG/MCO) Mr. Mohammed Amate has said the report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on the agency was not current.

Reacting to the report by NEITI which observed a lack of synergy between the MCO and the state mines inspectorates as the reason which allowed illegal mining to thrive, he said "that was in the past as there has been a lot of synergising in the operations of the MCO and the various states offices"

Speaking exclusively to LEADERSHIP, Amate said, "Since January 2011, lots of synergy have been created between the new MCO, we meet on a monthly basis, we receive frequent reports on field activities and do not renew licences without receiving reports from the state offices that the owners of such licences are performing according to expectation"

The DG maintained that there was no doubt that NEITI was doing a good job but re-iterated that the report on the agency activities were not in tandem with current practices.

The Audit had further observed that "The solid minerals sector is controlled mainly by construction companies(quarrying sites and cement manufacture) making them the major players in the industry, which is unhealthy for a sector that should attract full time investors with the capacity to establish factories and industries"

The report also stated that most of the companies audited do not submit their annual tax returns to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the activities of the ASM were not captured in the revenue stream of government

NEITI in its report also said that the mines inspectorate department and the MMSD do not have the required capacity and logistics to effectively monitor the production of companies in order to determine tonnages, production levels and royalty payment thus allowing companies to declare whatever without proper verification.

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