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4th Nigeria Mining Week: FG promises to boost low private sector exploration funding

…States already receiving 13% derivation on mining activities

…only 15 out of 400 mineral title holders operate in Nasarawa —Gov Sule

…as MAN hopes to access N5bn mining loan

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

As the 4th Nigeria Mining Week kicks off officially, Tuesday, the Federal Governments have promised to boost low private sector funding in the mining sector through effective collaborations.

4th Nigeria Mining Week: FG promises to boost low private sector exploration funding

This was stated by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite, in his speech titled, ‘Stock-Take of 2018 and Vision for The Development of Mining Industry in Nigeria’, where he said the Federal Government would ensure that there is synergy among stakeholders in the sector for the common good of the economy and people.

He also promised that with the right investors and environment Nigeria’s mining sector would be outstanding, which the government is ready to give backing to prospective investors including those already operating in the sector.

He said: “In fact, the existing documented stock of mineral resources can kick start a boom in the mining industry. Unfortunately, Nigeria still attracts low private sector exploration funding.

“This situation is unacceptable. To address it, we intend to partner with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the industry to deepen the reforms, fostering a conducive ecosystem for private sector participation and growth.

“We are also aware of the complexities associated with mining globally. Therefore, Nigeria as an emerging mining nation is poised to adopt best practices from major mining jurisdictions to address issues affecting the industry such as formalization of informal miners.

“We are always willing to engage with stakeholders for the benefit of all. My ministry will, therefore, strengthen the National Council of Mining and Mineral Resources Development as a platform for robust discussions of all stakeholders in moving the sector forward.

“These are associations that are state-based. I will like to tell the Governor that no doubt we need to deepen the collaboration, but I just want to explain that nobody gets a mining license without involving the local community with a sworn affidavit and if not you lose your license.

“Definitely, Mr. Governor sir, we do collaborate with the local people. What we need to do more is to deepen the collaboration of the state government itself. We are also trying to work with the National Economic Council that is the Governors.

“So let them realize that mining is important because all states now will benefit from oil and gas and nobody questions that and so we must realize that these mines that are in Nasarawa, Kano, Ogun, also is like the oil we get from Bayelsa which everybody partakes because this is the money that comes from the consolidated revenue account and everybody share.”

He also explained that “The 13 per cent derivation has actually started and is being disbursed. Tell your Accountant General when he goes to FAAC should monitor it. So 13 per cent derivation in oil and gas is also being implemented in mining and states are already benefiting from that. So we encourage state governments to see it as a partnership and not competition.

He also appealed to stakeholders to maintain high standards of integrity in carrying out mining activities, hence should shun corruption, false disclosure of minerals produced and exported. The growth and development of this sector should be their collective goal.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, disclosed in a goodwill message said out of 400 mineral title holders only 15 operate in the State.

“Therefore, our Administration is committed to creating a conducive environment for investors to harness these mineral potentials in the State. However, I need to state that our mining investors are yet to fully utilize the opportunities of our resources abound, as a result of huge capital and technical capability required in the sector.

“In the same vein, currently we have about 400 mineral title holders operating in the State, but only about 15 are actively engaged in the mining operations. In this connection, the State Government will soon establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to engage in partnership with willing mining investors for mutual benefits”, Sule added.

Also speaking was the National President, Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, Kabir Kankara, described the Mining Week as very important as it showcases the enormous endowments of the country for partnerships and investments between foreign investors, partners and indigenous business community including miners and also government officials.

“We are looking and talking about derisking the sector for investors to put in their money in the sector.

On the N5 billion, he said, “We believe the Ministers are serious to help us access the money. We will not run away with the money, moreover, it is not a dash but a loan we can guarantee and tell them that we will payback.”

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