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Ease of doing business: Miners cry out over exorbitant license fees

Contrary to the pronouncement of the federal government to effect ease of doing business in a 60-day plan, there seems to be no clear strategy to achieve that other than mere rhetoric.

Besides, the federal government claimed that the recent report on the status of Nigeria’s GDP released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that the negative result is a sign that mileages have been covered in agriculture and mining sectors.

Only weekend, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), appealed to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to review downward mining license fees.

It would be recalled that one of the key indicators of ease of doing business as presented by the World Bank report include high cost and bureaucracies in getting licenses where Nigeria came 168 out of 190 countries rated.

In an interview, the President of the association, Alhaji Sani Shehu, said that the association was calling for further downward review of license fees to encourage miners not to abandon the profession due to high cost of obtaining or renewing mining titles.

Shehu said “The sector is still at the infant stage and government needs to encourage miners and not to scare them from the industry.

“The association wrote a letter to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Feyemi last year to review the mining license payments and he reviewed it.

“We are calling for more reduction because mining is capital intensive,” he added.

The president said the association plans to sensitise its members to adhere to the ministry’s regulations to pay their dues as at when due and to effectively utilise their mining licenses to avoid revocation.

It would be recalled that the recently introduced the policy of ‘use your licence or lose it’ and relied on it to revoke several mining licences that had been unused for years.