Nigeria earns N271.77bn from solid minerals in eight years
* NEITI calls for release of N30bn development funds
Nigeria earned a total of N271.77 billion from 2007 to 2015, according to the latest data from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
NEITI, which made this disclosure in a report released weekend, explained that the country in 2007, earned N8.19 billion; 2008, N9.58 billion; 2009, N19.42 billion; 2010; N17.36 billion; 2011, N26.92 billion; 2012; N31.44 billion; 2013; N33.86 billion 2014, N55.80 billion; and 2015, N69.2 billion.
To sustain this growth and further enhance the capacity of the sector to contribute to the economy, NEITI called for “the speedy release of the N30 billion solid minerals development fund recently approved by the Federal Executive Council to the intended beneficiaries, to support some of the activities already stipulated in the Roadmap for the sector.”
The audit report disclosed that the total production of solid minerals in the country stood at 39.27 million tons. This represents a reduction of 17 per cent from the 47.1 million tonnes produced in 2014. The drop in 2015’s production was attributed to insecurity in parts of the country and more stringent approval process for explosives used in mining.
However, while mineral production reduced, government revenues went up in the same year. “This increase in revenue was due to the growth in taxes collected from the sector and review of royalty rates paid by companies which came into effect within the year under review,” the report stated. NEITI’s previous solid minerals audit reports had recommended upward review of Nigeria’s royalty rates to align with prevailing industry and present day realities.
The report also disclosed that the value of solid minerals exports in 2015 stood at $9.733 million, which was 1.45 per cent of non-oil exports for the year. Lead and zinc topped the chart with 79 per cent valued at $7.7 million, while 175 ounces of gold valued at only $122,000 were exported during the period.
The report showed that the solid minerals sector contributed 0.12 per centt to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015, a marginal increase of 0.01 per cent on the 0.11 per cent contribution of the sector to GDP in 2014.
“This report shows evidence that the contribution of the solid minerals sector to government revenues and macro-economic indicators is beginning to improve, even if marginally,” said Waziri Adio, NEITI’s Executive Secretary. “The sector could definitely contribute more to revenues, job and wealth creation, exports, imports substitution, industrial development and overall national growth.”
“But there is a sign of progress already,” Adio added. “What we need to do is to build on, deepen and sustain this early promise to ensure that the country returns to being a major mining destination and maximizes the abundant opportunities offered by the sector”.
“Faithful and sustained implementation of the roadmap developed by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and of the recommendations in this report will be necessary.”
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