The Senate yesterday asked the minister of mines and steel development, Olamilekan Adegbite, to appear before it over what it described as poor regulation and loss of revenue in the sector.
This came as the red chamber through its joint committees on Finance, National Planning, Gas Resources, Petroleum Upstream and Downstream gave a N15 billion as revenue target for Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (NMCO) in 2022.
NMCO had proposed only N4 billion as their target for the year 2022 which was turned down by the Senate, demanding the agency to get revenue of N15 billion.
The joint committees also threatened zero budget allocation in the 2022 fiscal year for any revenue-generating agency without a clear cut revenue profile or targets.
The summon was a sequel to the failure of the director-general of NMCO, Engr. Obadiah Nkom, to furnish the committee with required explanations on low revenue being generated in the sector and the menace of illegal mining across the country.
The director-general of the Nigerian Mining Cadastral Office had in his submissions before the joint committees said in 2019, N2.58 billion was generated and remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), which was reduced to N2.3billion in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but already increasing in 2021 with N3.166 billion realised as at July out of the targeted N4billion.
Dissatisfied with his submission, the chairman of the committee, Senator Olamilekan Adeola (APC Lagos West) and other members wondered why such an agency could not generate revenue beyond the threshold of N4 billion.