FG to lower export levies for mining companies

MINISTER of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, on Monday, said the Federal Government was willing to give good incentives of lowering export levies for mining companies that meet mineral downstream criteria.

He made this known in Abuja at the First-Ever Downstream Mineral Workshop- A Nigeria Mineral Value Chain Policy (NMVCP) in collaboration with Lagos Business School (LBS) and Mineral Support for Diversification (MINDIVER).

According to him: “The dominance of China and other Asian countries in the Nigerian solid mineral sector has contributed little to the value chain in the sector. China dominates mining in Nigeria with minimal roles for Nigerian firms.

“The raw materials exported out are used to produce consumer and industrial goods for sale in global markets at much higher prices than what is paid for the raw materials. The export of raw natural resources is a legacy of colonialism,” he stated.

Mr Adegbite added that the bad mining deals that have plagued the nation in the past, especially as it relates to the intractable legal logjam bedevilling Ajaokuta Steel Company would be resolved by enacting policies and legislations to the sustainable development of various minerals downstream initiatives.

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The minister said the government had to develop a downstream mineral value chain to address the gap by linking mining activities to manufacturing sectors, adding that the action was considered due to lack of substantial impact and tenous linkages with other sectors of the economy.

Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the minister on Special Duties, Mr Sunny Ekozin, said the implementation of the downstream mineral policy would contribute at least 5 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to him: “Currently, the contribution to the GDP is 0.3 per cent and I can guarantee you that within the next three years, with the policy in place, we should be able to talk about 5 per cent contribution and we should be able to talk about maybe in the region of 5000 to 10,000 direct quality job generation from this sector.

“The professionals currently in this sector, when we did some analysis a few weeks ago, we discovered that only 412 are actively involved in mining in the country and yet we have several professionals who are in the field of teaching and several other fields because they were not able to get a job within the sector,” he added.

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