Solid minerals: States ignorant of laws, benefits —RMAFC

DESPITE rhetoric about their determination to diversify the economy away from oil and particularly into solid minerals, indications have emerged that most states and local governments are ignorant of extant laws and the benefits immediately derivable from the sector.

Delegations from Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) were recently dispatched to all the states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on a monitoring exercise on royalty collections and activities of miners between 2009 and 2015.

Although there are claims that 50 per cent of extractive revenue shared by Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in recent times are from solid minerals, a source, however, confirmed that only N9 billion was shared in July from that source.

The visits, according to Nigerian Tribune findings, revealed that most companies holding mining licenses across the country were not involved in the activities, but using the documents to export minerals purchased from illegal miners.

In the letter sent to each state governor, the commission said the exercise “was necessitated by the need to diversify the revenue base of the Nigerian economy from oil to other viable sector, especially the solid minerals sector, in view of the current dwindling revenue from oil and gas sector.

“In the course of this exercise, the commission would conduct holistic auditing of the activities of major operators in the mining sector (both formal and informal), to ascertain if their operations are carried out in a way and manner that ensures conformity with the provisions of the constitution.”