Reps pass bill to establish mining commission
The House of Representatives yesterday passed for second reading a bill for an Act to repeal Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and establish the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Commission. Leading debate on the motion, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila stated the bill aimed at repealing the former Act and establish the Commission.
This he said would aid in the drive for the diversification of the economic base of Nigeria. The proposed Commission, according to him would ensure “competition, discourage diversion and sabotage prevalence in the mining sector, oversee foreign participation and investment and ensure quality regulation of the entire sector to enforce adequate penalties when due.”
Supporting the bill, Hon. Idris Ahmed (APC, Plateau) stated that the effects of the proposed Commission would be more far reaching especially to rural regions, saying that ministries being run by ministers who were politicians were highly liable to compromise along lines of personal gain and favoritism. Also in his contribution, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno) reminded the House that the potential of the mining sector had been highlighted by the minister at the beginning of the life of the present administration. Another lawmaker, Hon. Edward Pwajok (APC, Plateau) reminded the House that with the dwindling oil as a national resource, the proposed Commission would better regulate activities of the mining sector to ensure the revenue from the sector gets to government. Hon. Kayode Oladele noted that the Bill had been passed by the Senate and only sought concurrence in the House.
He stated that the proposed Commission would ensure continuity and effectiveness in the regulatory and remission function of the mining industry despite any change in government. Hon. Mohammed Sani Abdu (APC, Bauchi) stated that the best time for mining in Nigeria was when the Nigeria Mining Corporation was in effect, when the Ministry of mining took over the functions, the vibrance of the mining sector died. The bill was subsequently passed when Speaker Yakubu Dogara put it to a voice vote.