Nigeria consolidates workable regulation for mining industry
• Mining GDP to exceed $25bn by 2026.
Nigeria is now on the path to consolidating the previous reform efforts aimed at providing a transparent and workable regulatory and policy environment for private sector led mining that is attractive to local and international investors.
To ensure this, President Muhammadu Buhari has unequivocally affirmed that his administration would want solid minerals sector to be a key source of economic growth and diversified revenue base for the country.
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who made these known at International Mining Investment Conference, IMICON 2016, said the conference fits into the ministry’s strategic objectives to reposition the mining industry.
He maintained that for several decades, policy-makers and observers warned that Nigeria’s continued dependence on oil as the mainstay of her economy and this jeopardizes the long-term economic growth and development.
“We are now facing a future in which crude oil either ceases to be a strategic resource or one in which our status as a producer becomes relevant to the prospects for economic advancement within the international economic environment.”
Fayemi said based on current data, Nigeria’s solid minerals sector only makes up about 0.34 per cent of gross domestic product, GDP, and this is much smaller than its true potential as the vast majority of the mining assets are yet to be exploited.
He noted that the net outcome will be the creation of thousands of direct jobs and potentially hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs, adding, “we anticipate contribution to mining GDP to exceed $25 billion by 2026 as industries are better able to use the output of the sector.
“One of the major stakeholders, the Association of Metal Exporters of Nigeria, says Nigeria can generate at least N5 trillion annually from mining and exporting of its vast solid mineral deposits, with several multiplier effects on job creation.”
He maintained, the country’s minerals and mining industry is still largely underdeveloped despite its glorious past and abundance of mineral resources for development.
“In addition, the ministry is establishing the Nigerian Solid Minerals Investment Fund, structured as a private sector oriented outfit to provide financing to private sector-led projects in the mining sector,” he added.