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Alake woos investors with 2,220 strong mines security personnel

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The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, Thursday, wooed investors with strong mines security personnel as cover to operations in the mining sector.

Alake stated this during a virtually held ‘Nigeria-Australia Investment Roundtable’ forum while he addressed investors, and also assured them of Nigeria is Africa’s choice mining destination for profitable investment, and added that there are mouth-watering incentives, and seamless policies that drives ease of doing business in Nigeria’s mining sector.

Meanwhile, he said there is no cause for alarm over the issue of illegal mining activities, which the Tinubu-led administration is tackling head-on, therefore, there is drastic reduction than ever based on the stringent measures put in place to stop the menace.

According to him, the relentless efforts of the Ministry under his leadership is combating insecurity impacting mining areas and operations, and the 2,220 strong elite para-military force tagged “Mining Marshals” , which is made up of a 60-man rapid response squad, deployed in each of the 36 states of the federation and FCT are already making serious gains.

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He said, “Illegal mining is not just unlicensed mining. It covers licensed miners operating with invalid licenses or licensed miners operating outside their coordinates or mining minerals not approved in their licenses.

“The specialised mining marshals have in the little time of operations discouraged illegal mining, brought relief to recognised miners and is clamping down on those involved in nefarious activities around mining areas across the country.”

Meanwhile, the Minister assured the Australian investors that the Tinubu-led is making moves to establish a private sector-led ‘Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation’, which already had reached advanced stage.

According to him, after completion, the Corporation will be positioned for Joint Ventures, where investors will be given the platform to make their business thrive, such as Lithium, Gold, Baryte Lead, Iron-ore, and amongst others.

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“Both the legislative and corporate processes for the establishment of the corporation have reached appreciable stages. I hope to invite you to the formal unveiling of Nigeria’s intervention in the international mining business, very soon”, he added.

On the heels of the revocation of 1,633 titles for default in payment of annual service fees in order to strengthening the regulatory frameworks, the Minister disclosed that scrutiny has been extended to other categories of defaulters in a bid to drastically reduce indiscriminate speculation, license racketeering and the menace of those that obtained licenses over the years but refused to move to site.

“We have raised the approval level of permits and licenses for buying minerals; export of minerals and operation of mineral processing centres whilst also authorising the publication of the monthly digest of mining statistics to keep the sector abreast of developments.

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“Australians seeking to expand their mining portfolio to Africa should prioritise Nigeria in view of our positive investment friendly policies and ongoing rapid transformation. Many of the heavy equipment imported for mining can be evaluated to qualify for tax waivers and exemption from import duties. Nigeria also has a favourable funds and capital repatriation policy that ensures investors’ funds are not trapped”, he added.

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