Abuja — The Federal Government is to go tough on payment of royalties in the mining sector in order to curtail sharp practices by some operators.
This was made known by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, during a visit to two mining companies, Venus Mining Company and CornerStone Quarry in Dutse, Bwari Area Council, Abuja.
According to Ogah the Federal Government in its bid to increase revenue generation from mining will soon make public a new policy that would ensure mining companies pay the accurate royalties from their sales.
He also explained that the new policy would make it mandatory for operators in the sector to submit the printout of "their Weigh Bridges to the Ministry so exact royalties based on their sales record could be accurately calculated and paid to the government."
He said: "The payment of due royalties to the government would provide the needed funds for infrastructural development for the nation.
"The management of mining companies is to ensure they have a functional license and adhere to mining regulation. The Ministry's doors are always open to offer guidance. I want to reiterate that the Federal Government's commitment towards providing an enabling environment for investors to invest in the sector is well guaranteed."
Meanwhile, according to the Consultant to both companies visited by the Minister, Muhammed Lawal, one of the companies, Venus Mining Company, a stone aggregate quarry, produces about 40, 000 tonnes monthly, but optimally could produce 60, 000 if the crusher is functional at its peak.
Lawal also added that the operators are made to adhere to international best practices, "They are made to ensure they engage in controlled blasting in keeping with mining regulations."
Also, the Managing Director of CornerStone Quarry, Mr. Yilmaz Tavan, said the Quarry began operations in 2016 but had to stop for two years to reposition and re-strategize for better output. He added that as part of its repositioning effort, the company would take delivery of three new types of machinery from Turkey, soon.
Tavan disclosed that four of the Quarry's workers were kidnapped and released recently.
He called the government to provide adequate security for mining sites for seamless operations and assured of the company's dedication to operating within mining regulations and not indulge in illegal mining activities.