The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) has spent N700 million (almost $2 million) to develop an Integrated Automation and Interactive GIS Web Portal to improve `Ease-of-Doing-Business in the mining sector.
The Minister Dr Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this at the launching of the portal on Thursday in Abuja.
Fayemi said the portal was a cutting-edge initiative that leveraged technology for the innovation, efficiency and effectiveness in the mineral sector governance.
He said the overall objective of the project was to increase provision of reliable information and knowledge, to enhance the promotion of investments in the sector, using the technology-driven innovation and to increase the sector’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The portal was designed for mining investors to perform business processes such as online mining licences and mineral titles applications, online payment of royalties and fees, database for revenue drive and to block revenue leakages.
The portal, according to him, is to provide credible and timely information about the mining sector, performs and responds to online queries, business intelligence/analytics, reports and statistical data generation.
Other functions include ensuring that mining investors could view all existing mining titles and track them anywhere in the world through the portal, access all agencies information, global mining news, live chat and document library, among others. Lists of mining operators with valid licences and related minerals trade on private mineral buying centre and renewal of private mineral buying centres could also be accessed through the portal.
According to the minister, the portal is designed to serve as an input and decision support system to other entities of government (MDAs).
“This event is coming at a very auspicious time, on a broad scale; dividends of this administration’s commitment to turning around our economic fortunes,’’ he said.
He said Nigeria had moved up in the global market by 24 points in the ease of doing business index for 2018 in a recent report released by World Bank.
Fayemi said Nigeria was also ranked as one of the 10 most improved economies in the world. Fayemi said 75 staff had been trained on GIS across the mining sector.
He said the operation of online application of mining title and licences issued by Nigerian Mining Cadestre Office, online application of licences and permit issued by Mines Inspectorate Department and GIS laboratory, among others, would commence in the first quarter of 2018.
Alhaji Abubakar Bwari, Minister for State, Mines and Steel Development, said the integrated web portal was conceived as a means of making information more accessible to players and the public alike.
Bwari said the initiative was to revamp the sector, as the ministry was moribund before himself and the senior minister assumed leadership of the sector.
According to him, the government is a continuum and as long as subsequent administrations keep to track, mining will become the crown jewel of Nigeria’s economy.
Alhaji Mohammed Abbas, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, sought the support of the Ministry of Communication to assist with experts that would manage the portal effectively.
The ministers of communication, science and technology were represented at the event. The Women in Mining and Miners Association of Nigeria also witnessed the event.