Nigeria: Obasanjo Signs New Mining Law
President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday signed the Mining Bill into law, predicting a new dawn for the country’s mining industry. He said the new mining law was bound to accelerate foreign direct investment in the sector.
The President whose speech was read by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Chief Ufot Ekaette at the opening of the mining investment conference in Abuja, said a number of other initiatives such as the institution of transparency in the issuance of permits for titles as well as the setting up of an autonomous Cadastre office to undertake the processing and award of the mining titles had been put in place.
He said considerable effort was put in to ensure that the legislation came into being before the conference, adding that”we can now say that Nigeria is open for business as a choice mining destination”.
The Senate President, represented by the Deputy Senate President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu said the National Assembly had to rally round to ensure passage of the mineral Bill into law within 48 hours as a mark of solidarity to assist in development of the sector.
Basking on the euphoria of yesterday’s signing of the Mining Act into law, the Minister of Mines and Steel, Professor Leslye Obiora, said the coming of law was about the most important thing the country needed to present to investors at the moment.
“It has taken some while in coming, the investors are trilled to see that the system works. I tell you, this is probably the only nation on earth where what happened today could have happened, where all hands were on deck and everyone closed ranks to get the Bill passed into law.
“We going to attend the INDABA Mining Investment conference in South Africa, but instead of talking about prospective legislation, we are going to be brandishing a brand new law hot off the press on hand”.
She said the legislation apart from imbibing some of the world best practices in the mining sector, contained a generous fiscal incentive structure tailored to enhance profitability and investment friendly.
Obiora noted that although there wereã¨ abundant mineral deposits in the country, exploration and exploitative efforts in the past years either by private sector or the public mining institutions have been grossly inadequate, adding that all the sector could boost of were informal artisanal mining for gold, tin, tantalite, gemstones and small-scale quarrying of industrial minerals.
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