By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Minister of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Mr Kayode Fayemi, has disclosed that the sum of N700 million (almost $2 million) was used to develop the ministry’s Integrated Automation and Interactive GIS Web Portal aimed to improve Ease of Doing Business in the mining sector.
Speaking at the launch of the portal in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister explained that the overall objective of the project was to increase provision of reliable information and knowledge to enhance promotion of investment in the sector using technology driven innovation.
According to him, “This would in turn help increase the sector’s GDP contribution significantly.”
He further said, “Part of the deliverables of this project, among others, include: Business Processes Re-engineering, building of a GIS Web Portal with a Business Automation System, Content Management System (CMS), Geographic Information System (GIS), Decision Support System, collaboration and upgrade of the ICT Infrastructure of the Ministry.”
The Minister noted that with the launch of the portal, the country has now joined the league of jurisdictions in the global mining space that have deployed technology towards achieving transparency and ease of doing business in mineral sector governance.
Mr Fayemi, who demonstrated some geological enquiries on the GIS web portal (www.portal.minesandsteel.gov.ng), during the inauguration, said the e-platform would aid the steady growth of the mining sector and contribute to the realisation of the administration’s goal of diversifying the economy’s revenue base, creating jobs, and broadening the range of economic opportunities available to Nigerians.
He noted that while new technology would further reduce the time spent on various processes in the sector as information can now be assessed from any parts of the world, just as transaction could be done from any location.
He listed some of the tasks to be performed by the Web portal to include online processing of mining licenses and mineral titles application; online payment of royalties and fees; as well as database for revenue drive; business intelligence analysis, reports and statistical data generation.
Others include GIS mapping representation of resources within the country; Side stream along the mineral corridor, Deployment of Electronic Document Management System (EDMs); Provision of GIS Laboratory; Provision of Data Centre at Ministry’s Headquarters; Provision of Disaster Recovery facilities within Nigeria; Training on GIS, ERP, EDMs and portal navigation.
“The strategy adopted for Go-Live is incremental in nature. Today we are unveiling the following: Content Management System for the Ministry and its Agencies: Market Place comprising of Minerals Commodity Price, certified list of COMEG members, List of mining operators with valid licenses & related minerals they trade on etc.
“Online Application of Licenses and Permit issued by Artisanal and Small Scale Department such as: Formalization of Artisanal Miners, Registration of a Small-Scale Operator, Registration of Private Mineral Buying Centres, Renewal of Private Mineral Buying Centres.
“Administration Module with Internal Document Management System, Development of Workflow Approval Engine, Integration between Main Portal and GIS portal, Development of electronic payment platform, GIS Portal – Executive Dashboard and Application portal, Payment Integration with REMITA, Helpdesk Solution – Live chat, Development of Internal Users Reports and Dashboard,” the Minister said.
Also speaking at the event, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Mr Abubakar Bawa Bwari, said when he and Mr Fayemi first reported at the ministry, they met a sector that was moribund and seemed to lack both the wherewithal and the will to carry on.
He said the duo however resolved to make a mark in the sector.
“We designed a roadmap that we hoped will take us out of the doldrums and lead us on the path to shared mining prosperity. Anyone who looks at our roadmap will notice that we have made plans that will in time make this nation a mining destination again.
“Some of these plans, like the legitimisation of artisanal miners, improved funding for the sector, ensuring greater cooperation between states and the federal government, and raising the contribution of mining to GDP, have achieved modest success.
“However, when you consider the huge potentials we have in the sector and compare that to what we presently contribute to the GDP, you will agree with me that the gap is just too much. Some of causes of this could have been avoided if in the past we had been more careful as a country,” the junior Minister said.
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