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FG TO RECALL CONFLICTING VERSIONS OF MINING REGULATIONS

By NBF NEWS

Three versions of the mining regulations are circulating at the Federal Ministry of Justice and they will be withdrawn immediately, harmonised and resent for vetting within one month, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Musa Mohammed Sada, has said.

The mining regulations spell out specific guidelines for operating in the mining industry and are expected to complement the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act of 2007.

Although the regulations are prepared by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Ministry of Justice is expected to scrutinise and vet them before they are taken to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

But the mining regulations have been stuck in the justice ministry, since 2007 despite all assurances that work had almost been completed on it.

Speaking with journalists after he visited the Mining Cadastre Office on Monday, Sada said that officials of the Mines and Steel Development ministry sent the three versions of the regulations but failed to withdraw the preceding submissions.

He said, 'When you send one and there are observations on it, then you make corrections on another one and send it without withdrawing the original one. Maybe before it gets there, another version has already left one desk and you have one chasing the other.

'There were attempts to make sure that a perfect document is produced and it is on that attempt that this thing happened. That is why we said that we will bring them and look at them and send a harmonised version back and get some people to really run after it because it is a confidence booster.'

Sada explained that the mining regulations would serve as a guide to investors and streamline the rules of the industry for all operators.

According to him, 'When you are coming to invest your money, you need to know the basis of doing so; the rules and regulations of the game.

'We do not want to leave things at large. We want everybody to operate on the same pedestal. There are no two rules for any situation, which is why we said that all the versions should be located and brought back to the ministry.

'We will look at them again and finalise on one and chase it and make sure that within the shortest possible time, that these regulations are on ground for everybody to know how to behave in this industry.'

The minister expressed hope that the process of recalling the three versions of the regulations, harmonising them, resending it back to the justice ministry and getting them vetted would be completed within one month.

He said, 'I am thinking that in a month we should have it out. In a year, we should be able to implement some of those regulations so that we can start seeing results in the industry.'