The amendment of the Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act (NMMA) is underway. Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo confirmed the report and said that the federal government aims towards ensuring growth and investment in the mining sector.
The announcement is also coming at a time experts have consistently reiterated the call for an amendment of the Act. They said the current mining laws do not conform to the modern-day reality of global best practices, and by implication hampers the growth and development of the mining industry. Mr Osinbajo at the revealed that the development of the sector is an important component of the nation’s economic policy. He said the mining sector features prominently in the National Development Plan 2021 to 2025, as approved by the Federal Executive Council about a week ago.
“Concurrently, there is an ongoing review of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007, aimed at bringing legislation into conformity with global best practices, limiting the role of the government to that of regulation, and creating the space for the private sector to maintain a more expansive presence in the sector.
“So as we deepen our efforts to revitalize the mining sector, we are doing so with lessons learned from a half-century of resource extraction. We recognize, for instance, that it is not enough to seek investments merely for the sake of exploitation and extraction. Rather than writing this new chapter of economic growth, our aim is to develop local industries, generate employment, and focus on resource beneficiation to create wealth along the mineral value chain.
“The Mining Roadmap Implementation Strategy Team (MIST), a team set up in 2016 to implement the roadmap, stated in the report that: “there may be the need to review some of the laws as contained in the Mining Act of 2007 as they may no longer be achievable given the current business operating environment,” he said.
The Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act 2007 was re-enacted to repeal the Minerals and Mining Act No. 34 of 1999 for the purpose of regulating all aspects of the exploration and exploitation of solid minerals in Nigeria.
However, despite the gloomy view by the general public, the sector has recorded tremendous growth since the inception of the current administration as noted by the Vice President who cited “notable inflow of investments and increase in revenue generation.”