By Oscarline Onwuemenyi
ABUJA â€” The Minister of Mines and Steel Development Mrs. Dieziani Alison-Madueke yesterday wooed global investors in the mining sector to the Nigeria, saying the country would grant a three-year tax holiday to new mining companies.
Besides, she said told the investors, the country has put in place some other tax incentives such as the reduction of Companies Profit Tax from 35% to 30%.
Alison-Madueke who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Suleiman Kassim, at the 2010 Mining Indaba conference holding in Cape Town , South Africa also said that the Capital Gains Tax has been reduced from 20% to 10% for prospective investors.
She added that there would also be an increase of the initial Annual Capital allowances from 20% and 10% to 30% and 20% respectively for the investors.
The minister said, â€œ Nigeria â€™s mineral deposits have been discovered in commercial quantities and we believe that they are critical in commercial quantities and we believe that they are critical to the industrialization and development of the country.
â€œI therefore, seize the opportunity to invite you to invest in the development of these key minerals, as our government has put together a packaged of attractive incentives for investors who are willing to capitalize on the plethora opportunities in Nigeria â€™s mining sector.â€
According to the minister, these incentives include Companies Profits Tax reduced from 35% to30%, Capital Gains Tax reduced from 35% to 10%, Increase of the initial and Annual Capital allowances from 20% and 10% to 30% and 20% respectively
More importantly, she said is the three year tax holiday for new mining companies.Alison-Madueke further impressed on the conference the nationâ€™s mining potentials as contained in the air borne geological survey data, which was launched in the conference, noting that Nigeria has bitumen of estimated reserves of 27 billion barrels of oil equivalent, coal of 2.7 billion tones, iron ore of estimated resources of 3 billion tones.
She also stated that Nigeria limestone estimated resources of 2.23trillion tones, barites of estimated resource of 14million tones and others.
The minister recalled that the ministry commenced the acquisition of airborne geophysical data carrying out a pilot scheme in Ogun State in 2003.She further noted that the survey covered 37,108 line kilometers of magnetic gradiometer and spectrometer surveys.
She added that after a pilot scheme, the phase 1 of the project commenced covering 44% of the country with 774,710 line kilometers which was financed by the Ministry. Phase II according to him, also coveredÂ 53% of the country equivalent to 1,132,960 line kilometers and was financed by the World Bank intervention programme, known as the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP).
Speaking with journalists after the launch of the data, a member of the Senate committee on Solid Minerals, Senator Mohammed Jubrin said the government has put in infrastructure in the industry to attract investors.
Senator Jubrin said the essence of the launching the data at the conference was to attract the very few global players in the industry.
He stressed that the conference would also allow Nigeria to learn from stronger economies in the sector and avert the mistakes that it is currently experiencing in the oil sector.
â€œThere are very few strong mining companies around the world that control the majority of the mining activities internationally and Nigeria with its huge potential in the mining industry needs the collaboration of some of these important organs, companies and institution so that they can go into the development of the sector.
â€œSo that it can go into the development of the sector fully without the attended mistakes we find in our oil industry. For example, this kind of forum will help us to know what is required internationally and put in place the necessary guidelines that will help the country. So I think it is very good forum for Nigeria ,â€ he said.