Experts say Nigeria’s solid mineral export potential may hit N10 trillion
If properly harnessed, sector operators believed that Nigeria’s earnings from the solid mineral sector could potentially outweigh revenue from oil and gas resources.
Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mining and Solid Minerals Group in Lagos, also picked holes in Nigeria’s solid minerals roadmap, saying it should be revised to make explicit and clear provision for accountability and transparency in the industry.
According to them, lack of accountability and transparency in the industry can lead to loss of government revenue to business operators and regulatory bodies.
Chairman of the group, Otunba Babatunde Alatise, at a media briefing in Lagos yesterday, emphasised the need for the Federal Government to provide enabling environment for the sector to thrive.
He stated that the solid mineral sector holds capacity to generate five million jobs in the next 10 years if the ongoing reform in the sector successfully passes through.
According to him, global best practice holds that no party should serve as operator and regulator simultaneously.
Alatise also stressed the need to set an inclusive legal, regulatory and operational framework/model that internalises the activities of mining artisans and other informal operators in the industry.
Also, the Publicity Secretary of the association, Tony Nwakalor, frowned at the stringent condition for accessing the solid minerals intervention fund.
He said there was need for the Federal Government to remove all obstacles to easy access of the N30 billion intervention fund for the development of the mining sector.
Nwakalor, who decried lack of available geo-science data in the sector, said: “We acknowledge that economic geological data from National Geological Survey Agency’s exploration activities is not readily accessible by investors and other stakeholders.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Waziri Adio, has called for the speedy release of the intervention fund to support some of the activities already stipulated in the roadmap for the sector and also sustain this growth and further enhance the capacity of the solid mineral sector to contribute to the economy.