10 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) revealed on Thursday that it has spent N700 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, who disclosed this at the launch of the portal, in Abuja, said the portal was a cutting-edge initiative that leveraged technology for the innovation, efficiency, and effectiveness in the mineral sector governance.
Fayemi 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 GDP.
The portal was designed for mining investors to perform business processes such as online mining licenses and mineral titles applications, online payment of royalties and fees, database for revenue drive and to block revenue leakages.
The minister explained that the portal is credible and provides timely information about the mining sector, performs and responds to online queries, business intelligence/analytics, reports and statistical data generation.
“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,” he stated.
Lists of mining operators with valid licenses 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 including ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Fayemi said, “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 further remarked that 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.
He said Nigeria was also ranked as one of the 10 most improved economies in the world.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fayemi has said 75 staff of the ministry had been trained on Geographic Information System (GIS) across the mining sector. A GIS is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographic data.
He said that operation of online application of mining title and licenses issued by Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, online application of licenses and permit issued by Mines Inspectorate Department and GIS laboratory, among others, would commence in the first quarter of 2018.
Also speaking at the event, Minister for State, Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Abubakar Bwari said the integrated web portal was conceived as a means of making information more accessible to players and the public alike.
Mr. Bwari said the initiative was to revamp the sector, as the ministry was moribund before himself and the senior minister assumed 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.
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.