The Kogi House of Assembly has commenced a probe into the financial contributions of mining firms operating in the state to the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The House had two weeks ago set up a committee to investigate why Kogi’s IGR was very low despite the presence of big companies in the state. The firms, Eta Zuma Mining and Industries Limited, Manga Energy Limited, and Dangote Mining Company, appeared at the committee’s public hearing on Wednesday to defend their contributions to the IGR.
Eta Zuma Mining and Industries Limited, the firm which provides a range of services to clients in the mining, solid mineral, energy, and steel sectors, apologized for its shortcomings. Eta Zuma’s legal officer, Malaki Ugwani, said it was not in the character of the company to undermine the lawmakers’ integrity.
“To respond to some of your questions as regards to tax, I can boldly tell you here that Zuma as a mining company is not owing the state. Our approved fees were in good faith and we have no issue with the community with which we have a five-year Community Development Agreement (CDA) running from 2018 to 2023. It will interest you to know that since we began operating in Kogi, the licence we have is contiguous, yet in some places around Okobo, Ika and Ejambo, we are not allowed access due to activities of illegal miners. We are paying our revenues as at when due but there are issues as to the legality of dues for the state and Federal Government,” said Ugwani.
Also speaking, Dangote Mining Company’s representative, Haruna Adonoi, said he was in the House to plead for more time before appearing at the public hearing. Adonoi said: “We got a letter of oversight from the committee. We then sent a response letter, which contains court cases between the state and our company.”
Manga Energy Limited also asked for more time to prepare properly before the committee’s next public hearing. The Speaker of the House, Matthew Kolawale, directed all the invited firms to appear before the House on September 26 with all necessary documents for discussion.