From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja

The Federal Government said it has generated N16.3 billion between May 2023 to April 2024 through mining loyalty and fees paid to Mining Cadastral Office ( MCO).

The Minister of Solid Minerals and Development, Dr Dele Alake made this known on Thursday, at the sectoral updates series in Abuja, organised to mark the anniversary of President Bola Tinubu’s  administration.

He stated that the achievement shows  the sum of N6,746,317,807.09 as surplus surpassing the  budgetary target of N10,566,635,560.24.

“This comprises collections from royalty and fees. This shows an achievement of the sum of N6,746,317,807.09 as surplus surpassing the target.”

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He further explained that the  Ministry generated and collected the sum of Fourteen Billion Nine Hundred and Thirty Eight Million One Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty Five Naira Forty Three Kobo (N14,938,164,335.43) as at the year ended 31st December, 2023.

“This represents 72.1 per cent positive variance and 172.1 per cent performance when compared with the annual budgetary target of N8,680,197,621.00 for year 2023.”

The Minister further added that the Ministry, through the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), partnered with GeoScan Gmbh to advance the exploration and development of Nigerian critical mineral resources using innovative proprietary technology.

“It has also entered into an agreement with the African Finance Corporation to raise a project development facility to fund companies facing the challenge of raising capital to execute their early-stage exploration projects. No fewer than 20 candidates have been shortlisted and are undergoing training to prepare to manage their portfolio efficiently,” Dr. Alake stated.

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