Illegal mining has been a major concern to Members of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ACCI, urging the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, MCO, to make acquiring operational licenses open and seamless to its members.
The chamber said that making the licensing process seamless for potential miners in the country would spur economic activities in the sector.
Dr. Johnson Anene, the Vice President, Mines, ACCI, made the call in Abuja during a NAN interview on the sidelines of the ongoing 16th Abuja International Trade Fair.
The Agency reports that the fair, holding at Abuja Trade and Convention Centre organised by ACCI, has its theme as “Exploring Opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.”
Anene decried the cumbersome nature of obtaining a mining license, adding that though the process of getting a permit had not been easy, the coming on board of the new MCO D-G was a relief.
“The process of getting a license for miners is cumbersome, but the advent of online application processing has made it easier for people to apply.
He said if the office can liberalize licensing of mining operations, it will reduce illegal mining because they resort to such activities out of frustration.
“But if they know that they can apply and genuinely get a license if qualified, the illegal mining will stop,’’ he said.
The Vice President urged the mining cadastre office to also engage in more enlightenment or awareness campaigns so that people would be informed about the danger of involving themselves in illegal mining.
According to him, the office also needs to make the process and conditions attached to the license very open and seamless to enable them to know the requirement of acquiring the assignment.
He advised that licenses being hoarded or had been of no use or given to inactive miners should be withdrawn from the miners. At the same time, it should focus on providing licenses to active people for economic growth.