LEGAL EXPERT INTERVIEW: “There is hope for better interpretation and implementation of the laws guiding mining activities in Nigeria and for the protection of investments in the country through the law”

Let’s start with some background on PUNUKA Attorneys & Solicitors and your current business interests in Africa, and in Nigeria in particular.
PUNUKA Attorneys & Solicitors is a fully integrated and multi-dimensional business law practice with over 70 years of combined experience with offices in Lagos, Abuja and Asaba, Nigeria and reputed for its quality services to clients both locally and internationally. The firm has a culture of excellence and is committed to achieving optimal and sound results for its highly diversified clientele base within record time.  

The firm is a member of Lawyers Associated Worldwide (LAW), a global network of 100 independent law firms located in over 50 countries around the world. The state of reciprocity is such that we are able to extend to our clients the benefits of our membership of this esteemed body to assist them whenever their cross border transactions touch on those jurisdictions where our correspondents and member firms operate. The firm also has business and correspondence relationship with many notable firms around the globe.

Our practice is built on international standards and we are recognized for efficient service delivery and proficiency in diverse areas of legal practice including but not limited to Mining Law, Corporate Due Diligence, Corporate/Commercial Law/Contractual Services, Asset Financing, Capital Markets, Insolvency and Restructuring, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divesture, Intellectual Property Law, Entertainment Law, Employment/Labour Law, Oil & Gas, Taxation Law, Dispute Resolution (Litigation, Arbitration & other ADR methods), Property Law/Real Estate Management, Immigration Law, Entertainment Law, amongst others. 

How excited are you about the opportunities in Nigeria’s mining sector?
We are very excited about the opportunities in Nigeria’s mining sector though they remain untapped to a large extent. With the various reforms on ease of doing business in Nigeria to attract investments especially by foreign, competent and environment friendly investors in the last two years by this present Administration, pioneer incentives and tax reliefs provided, foreign exchange incentives, facilitation of procedures for repatriation of capital and interests, the Government's attention to important issues such as community relationships, speed and efficiency in relation to regulatory and licensing framework, to name a few. 

We are confident however that this edition of the Nigeria Mining Week will further create awareness and provide the medium for discussions around how to resolve the so called problems plaguing the mining sector in Nigeria including  financing, security and community relationships, data issues, legal environmental and regulatory concerns, investment interest, government policies amongst others. We look forward to a beautiful programme.

What will be PUNUKA Attorneys & Solicitors’s message at Nigeria Mining Week in October?
Our message is simple! There is hope. There is hope for better interpretation and implementation of the laws guiding mining activities in Nigeria. There is hope for the protection of investments in the country through the law. There is hope for the enabling environment that will allow the mining sector to thrive in Nigeria. There is hope for restoration of investors’ confidence in the mining space and there is hope for collaboration amongst stakeholders. 

And this hope is not one that is wishful. As said earlier from our experience, there are real prospects and opportunities and a sufficiently enabling environment which investors are quite eager to delve into notwithstanding challenges: much as the mining sector is quite capital intensive and requires most often international lending, we have just not later than a month ago collaborated with regards to a distressed restructuring and investment worth several millions of dollars with a view to tapping into these opportunities.

We have also noted recently improved efficiency in engagement and feedback from the Mining Cadastre Office.

What are you most looking forward to in Abuja in October?
We are looking forward to very interactive sessions and frank discussions amongst the stakeholders on the topical issues.

Anything you would like to add?
That the time is ripe for those who will strategically position themselves and harness the opportunities where others are seeing challenges.

That the jackpot is for the risk takers, leaving others chasing behind. 

That Nigerian Mining sector presents a fabulous opportunity for all this.

To a great programme!!!