The federal government has said it was taking actions to move Nigeria 20 spaces better in the World Bank ranking of countries for ease of doing business.
Vice president, Dr Yemi Osibanjo, stated this in his address at the welcome ceremony of the 5th International Mining Investment Conference/Exhibition on Nigeria, which started in Abuja on Monday August 29, 2016 with the Theme: “Connecting the Global Mining Industry to the Opportunities of the Solid Minerals Sector in Nigeria.”
The vice president represented by the special adviser to the president, on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, said, “Let me assure local and foreign investors that in our quest to grow this sector, the federal government is fully focused on making it easier to do business in Nigeria.”
“As a matrix, we are planning and taking actions already on trying to move Nigeria from a ranking of 169 out of 189 countries in the World Bank ease of doing business to at least 20 spaces better in the coming ranking, we do hope by this gesture, governments efforts will be reciprocated by the respect for the rule of law and commitment to promoting the development of this country including the payment of taxes as required.”
He added, “We are seeking to cooperate with our partners in the solid minerals sector to come up with a strategy for ensuring that it plays its desired role as a major economic sector in Nigeria.”
The vice president added that “Budgetary provisions for the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development allotment this year is far larger than the allocation that the ministry has had in the past five years.
“Administration of President Buhari , has consistently advocated and pursued the formidable policy of diversifying Nigerian economy from over reliance on crude oil with the current economic downturn, noting that it had become imperative that we focus on areas of comparative advantage like agriculture and solid minerals development.”
While urging the participants to bring up strategies of engagement, he assured that the federal government through the ministry of solid minerals development had developed a road map to provide the basis for some key initiatives which have been identified as crucial to the success of the sector.
Also speaking, the minister of solid minerals development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said, “Based on current data, Nigeria’s solid minerals sector only makes up about 0.34 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).” He noted that “While that is significant, it is much smaller than its true potential as the vast majority of our mining assets have yet to be exploited.
“According to one of the major stakeholders in the solid minerals sector, the Association of Metal Exporters of Nigeria, we can generate at least N5 trillion annually from mining and exporting of its vast solid mineral deposits, with several multiplier effects on job creation, state development and social infrastructure that could position the solid minerals sector as the main catalyst for national development.”
The minister said “should Nigeria successfully implement the proposed recommendations, growth is expected to return to the sector in the form of new exploration activity, operations and production from active mining, functional (and expanded) processing and refining capacity, and higher value-addition in exports.”