Nigerian Government Revokes Hundreds of Dormant Mining Licenses

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In a decisive move to invigorate the mining sector and curb speculation, the Nigerian Federal Government, operating through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, has revoked a staggering 924 licenses. This measure follows a previous revocation of 1,663 licenses in November 2023.

The primary objective behind this bold step is to eradicate dormant licenses and ensure that those in possession of licenses are actively engaged in mining activities. This initiative resonates with the Ministry’s “use it or lose it” policy, aimed at promoting productivity and preventing the hoarding of licenses.

The recent revocation spans across various categories of mining licenses, including exploration, mining, small-scale mining, and quarrying. Among the revoked licenses are 528 exploration licenses, 20 mining leases, 101 quarry licenses, and 273 small-scale mining licenses.

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, underscored that adequate notification was provided to license holders through official channels before the commencement of the revocation process. The notification, which was published in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette on December 27, 2023, afforded license holders a 30-day window to address dormancy issues and potentially retain their licenses.

The move by the government has been met with positive reactions from various quarters. Firstly, it is seen as a crucial step in combating license speculation, discouraging individuals from acquiring licenses solely for speculative purposes, which often deter genuine investment in the sector.

Moreover, the revocation paves the way for the re-issuance of licenses to entities committed to active mining, thereby fostering development and investment in the sector. This reallocation of licenses holds the potential to breathe new life into the mining industry and drive economic growth.

Furthermore, the government’s adherence to due process and transparency, evidenced by the official notification through the gazette, reinforces confidence in regulatory mechanisms governing the mining sector.

Overall, the Nigerian Federal Government’s decisive action to revoke dormant mining licenses signals a firm commitment to revitalizing the mining sector, promoting transparency, and fostering sustainable development.

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