By Emmanuel Mogbede
Abuja – Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development says the Federal Government will no longer tolerate evasion of royalty payment by states.
He said this on Tuesday in Abuja while declaring open the 2019 Nigeria Mining Week organised by the Miners’ Association of Nigeria (MAN).
“Under the proposed Mineral Export Guidelines, there would be no room for royalty payment evasion.
“All mineral exports shall be inspected by government appointed independent pre-shipment inspection agents, who are empowered by law to render quantity and quality control services and monitor pricing.
“This control mechanism is in accordance with the Pre-Shipment Inspection of Exports Act,’’ the minister said.
He noted that while mining had a significant role to play in the diversification of the country’s economy, the sector was still classified as non-performing.
Adegbite said this was in spite the abundance of mineral resources that abound within the 36 states of the federation.
According to him, the existing documented stock of mineral resources across the countr, can kick start a boom in the mining industry.
He said it was, however, unfortunate that Nigeria still attracted low private sector exploration funding, a situation he said was unacceptable.
The minister noted that to address the situation, the ministry intends to partner with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the industry to deepen government reforms of the sector and foster a conducive ecosystem for private sector participation and growth.
He said the ministry was poised to creating a value chain in the mining sector that would ultimately benefit the citizens.
He assured prospective investors that all reforms in the sector would be in line with global best practices.
“The Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Industry provides us a broad pathway for the transformation of the industry.
“The ministry does not intend to deviate from the laid down implementation trajectory, except if it becomes exceedingly imperative to take certain actions that could fast-track the reforms.
“Our Industrial Minerals Development plan aimed at bridging the demand gap on industrial minerals used by local industries is on course.
“In view of this, we facilitated the development of an industrial mineral roadmap to optimise Nigeria’s industrial minerals to meet the standards of the manufacturing, industrial and construction industry so as to reduce import dependency,’’ he said.
The minister added that the desire to facilitate local production of the country’s mineral deposits was aimed at conserving foreign exchange and creating jobs and wealth for the citizenry.
He, however, appealed to stakeholders to maintain high standards of integrity in carrying out mining activities in the country.
“You must shun corruption, false disclosure of minerals produced and exported, the growth and development of this sector should be our collective goal,’’ the minister said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 1,250 stakeholders from more than 900 organisations across 22 countries are participating in the 2019 Nigeria Mining Week.
The Nigeria Mining Week first held in 2016, is hosted by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in partnership with other agencies.
The Mining Week is an annual meeting place and deal making platform for mining stakeholders in Nigeria.
The event which would end on Oct. 16, would focus on finance and investment opportunities for interested parties and tour of exhibition and technical sections.
One of the aims is to provide a tangible means to mobilise opportunities in the mining sector by providing solutions needed to elevate the already growing mining industry.
Over 30 sponsors and exhibitors are participating at the event.
Some stakeholders who spoke to NAN, however, stressed the need for man power development as well credit facilities to assist miners to grow. (NAN)