By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
Acting chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, Shettima Umar Abba-Gana has said experts analysis on the viability of the mining sector has estimated that Nigeria can generate approximately N500billion naira annually from royalty, taxes and other fees.
The acting chairman stated this in his good will message at the two day Workshop on Promoting Transparency, Fiscal Accountability and National Development in Nigeria’s Extractive Industry Governance organised by Global Rights, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy (CISLAC) and the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
According to Abba Gana” According to expert analysis on the viability of the mining sector, it is estimated that the country can generate approximately N500billion annually from royalty, taxes and fees. This is an addition to other revenues expected from mining minerals(Gold, Coal, Iron ore, Lead/Zinc, barites)etc scattered across the states of the federation.
He said this projection is predicated on the assumption that 7000 licensed companies could be compelled to operate or lose their licenses. He added that the above is feasible if the activities of the miners are well regulated and formalized which in any case will further create more jobs in the system.
In her welcome address, Country Director Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu-Teru said “with more than 40 minerals in commercial quantities strewn across the country, paradoxically the solid mineral sector contributes less than 1% to the national GDP.
She noted that more than 80% of the sector (in particular artisanal mining) is unregulated and its revenue unaccounted for, adding that “we live with the environmental and socio-economic consequences of lax oversight, and worse still, our children will pay for them, while these minerals pave the path to economic greatness for the countries to which they are illegally ferried.
“Mining host communities inordinately bear the burden of the resource curse with seemingly little or no benefits from the wealth that is harnessed from their vicinity” she said
Baiyewu revealed that the meeting is the fourth part in a series of dialogues aimed at strengthening and increasing engagements between civil society actors and the government on solid mineral governance in Nigeria, and has as one of its hallmark features, engagement with oversight institutions tasked with fostering transparency and fiscal justice in Nigeria’s extractive industry.
Also speaking Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi said the keynote topic “Participatory governance: an imperative for promoting fiscal justice and development in Nigeria’s extractive industry” is highly relevant in light of the government’s vision to achieve inclusive growth through restoring growth, investing in our people, and building a globally competitive economy.
He said Civil society organizations in Nigeria have made significant strides in enhancing greater transparency in the oil sector. Yet, there are other areas across the entire extractive industries value chain and industry life cycle where citizens need support in engaging with the government and private sector to meet their development needs.
Apart from the Niger Delta where oil has degraded the communities, he said the effects from mining would be even more devastating since the minerals occur in many locations across the country
He assured that the federal government is currently putting measures in place to mitigate mining-related environmental and social disasters, putting measures to improve the economic and human development opportunities for artisanal miners, to ensure that future revenues from mining do not affect our macroeconomic stability and are quite eager to build a strong coalition and partnership with civil society around these issues
“In our mining sector, these issues have created a legacy of abandoned mines, which we are trying to tackle, but it is difficult and costly.
“I want to assure you of our commitment to work with civil society to protect our citizens and intend to formalize this MMSD-CSO coalition soon. My hope is that this workshop would serve to identify innovative ways to strengthen extractive industry governance for our national development” he added .