ABUJA – The Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) said on Wednesday in Abuja that the Federal Government earned N26.9 billion from solid minerals in 2011.
NEITI, Executive Secretary, Mrs Zaina Ahmed, made this known at the public presentation of 2011 Solid Minerals Industry Report.
Ahmed said that 87 companies participated in the audit based on the materiality level of N1 million.
She said that the report also showed that Nigeria exported a total of 7.12 metric tones of solid minerals valued at N11.9 billion during the period under review.
The executive secretary said that the key findings of the report showed that the N33.1 million represented the difference between what the companies paid in taxes, levies, royalty and what government actually received.
She said a review of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) records on exported mineral showed that there were discrepancies in the value of exported minerals and the associated companies.
“From the report, total revenue received by the Federal Government increased significantly in 2011 as compared to previous years.
“This was attributed to the awareness created from the last audit cycle by NEITI and increasing attention paid by government to solid minerals industry.”
Ahmed said that the report also observed that there was poor synergy between the various government agencies.
These, she said, were the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, CBN, NCS, Nigeria Export Promotion Council and Mining Cadastral Office.
She said that despite the fact that Gold and Barite were mined across the nation, there were no records of any royalty or similar payments.
According to her, the report recommends urgent need to check the incessant smuggling of solid minerals products out of the country.
She decried the deliberate creation of border markets at strategic border points across the country for the smuggling of solid minerals.
Ahmed said that the report also called for the establishment of International Standards Organisation (ISO) certification in each of the six geo-political zones of the country for the purpose of analysing minerals extracted or discovered.
She said that the report was to establish and make public the revenue flows through investment among the major players in the solid mineral sector.
The NEITI boss said that the audit was to track solid minerals sector funds collected by the various government agencies to the federation account and how they were distributed and applied. (NAN