The Federal Government has mandated all expatriates in the mineral and metal sector to register with the Council of Nigeria Mining Engineers and Geoscientists, COMEG, in order to sanitise and enforce best international practise in the sector.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Mohammed Sada, at the 7th induction ceremony of COMEG in Abuja last week.He explained that the induction was part of the ministry’s functions to instill professionalism in the extractive industry, while urging COMEG to ensure strict compliance with professional guidelines by all its members and to weed out mediocrity from the industry.Sada said: “Today marks another achievement of the current board which has been working tirelessly to position COMEG as one of the leading Nigerian professional regulatory bodies. The induction of 362 and 23 corporate bodies lend credence to the desire of COMEG to instill professionalism in the extractive industry.
“The recently held training workshops on preparation of feasibility studies; use of computer application; and code of conduct, ethics, legal rights and responsibilities of professional practice in the Nigeria extractive industry amongst others by COMEG shows its efforts in carrying out assigned mandates.“On our part, at the ministry level, we will continue to provide the enabling environment for COMEG to function properly and discharge its responsibilities as the regulator of professional practice in the extractive industry.
“In this regard, in addition to standing requirement of mandatory registration with COMEG by the mining and geosciences professionals, expatriates coming into the country to work as mining engineers and geoscientists will be made to register with COMEG as expatriate professionals as well as insist that only registered professionals sign communication letters to the ministry.
“I appeal to all stakeholders in both public and private sectors to collaborate with COMEG to ensure that relevant professionals under their watch are registered in order to make their professional practice lawful.”
The minister also congratulated the new inductees and urged them to live up to expectation and to carry out their activities in a professional manner and sustain the standards of practice in the extractive industry according to laid down guidelines and provisions to avoid sanctions.
In his address, the COMEG Chairman, Chief Chambers Oyibo, said the inductees were subjected to professional examination which made them qualified to be registered members of the council.
Oyibo however complained about series of challenges affecting the council’s performance, which include lack of permanent accommodation, inability to conduct accreditation programmes for tertiary institutions, and also poor implementation of policies by government for the extractive industry. Also included is poor funding by government, while registered members owed over N40 million as dues.
He also urged the ministries of Water Resources, Environment, Science and Technology, Works, and Petroleum Resources, to prevail on unregistered professionals under their purview to comply with the COMEG Act, to ensure professionalism in the mineral and mining industry.
Information from Vanguard was used in this report.