‘Nigeria losing revenue to lack of regulation in mining sector’
The Federal Government has warned that Nigeria is losing so much revenue due to lack of regulation of the steel sector, noting that recovering most of the mining sites from illegal miners is hindering the country from reaping the industry’s full potential.
The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdulkadir Muazu, at the yearly general meeting of the Non-Metallic and Mineral Products Sectoral Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), in Lagos, yesterday, said government was working tirelessly to formulate policies that would bring about strict regulation of the mining sector of the economy.
Represented by a Director at the Ministry, Ime Ekrikpo, he said lack of adequate infrastructure also remained a burden on the mines and steel sector, maintaining that inadequate infrastructural facilities were slowing down the pace of the industry.
“We have issues where operators still have to struggle to move their goods round the country. The absence of water, rails, accessible road network are challenges operators have to battle with on a daily basis to carry out their operations,” he said.
He expressed the hope that the infrastructure master plan would address the situation in the nearest future.
“It behoves us as a Ministry to seek innovative and effective ways on how Nigeria can tap into the potential of the solid mineral sector within the shortest period of time,” he said, adding: “What we have in the crude oil sector is a child’s play compared to the solid mineral sector which we are yet to scratch.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the Non-Metallic and Mineral Products Group, John Aluya, said the meeting was significant as it brings together members to share their experiences and issues in the industry.
He said the theme of the event, tagged: “Giving effects to Executive order 005: The case of solid minerals and local raw material sourcing of non-metallic and mineral products,” with the objective of improving local content in public procurement particularly in the areas of science, engineering and technology, housing development, and other infrastructure components.
“We believe that the issue that will be addressed will afford members the opportunity of opening new frontiers in their business engagements and simultaneously answer some of the issues that may be inhibiting their business prospect with the government agencies, particularly in the area of local procurement,” he said.
He decried that the business environment has continuously posed lots of challenges to members and the manufacturing sector, ranging from infrastructure, regulation, and smuggling of products, to counterfeiting, which all have proved insurmountable, despite consistent efforts to tackle them.
Aluya added: “Nevertheless, as an industry and with dedication from majority of the investors in the sector, we are prepared to confront these challenges with pragmatic solution and move on to make our competitiveness and readiness to play in the market both at the continental and global levels.”
He said the products from the sector hold the key to the nation’s development agenda, particularly in the provision of housing for the citizens, stressing that the current 16 million housing gap is enough potential,l and creates enormous business opportunities for members with various type of products which are key in the sector.
“It is therefore imperative that we should continue to advance viable national development strategy to confront the housing gaps which will be part of the positive outcome from this national concern, we should continue to play a pivotal role in assisting the nation to achieve goals geared towards sustainable growth.”
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