With the approval of the mining sector roadmap by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and discovery of mineral resources in various parts of the country, the Federal Government is expected to make more revenue from the sector, the National President, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Sani Shehu, has said.
He said that the roadmap would state the government’s regulations in the sector. They would guide operators in international best practices, including ethics, health, environment, and climatic issues. In all, they would guide operators and regulators and on how to move the sector forward.
But the mining body advised the government to stop further importation of raw materials that could be sourced locally, adding that the country has adequate raw materials for the local industries. When these materials are used, they would create employment and sustainable revenue generation for the government.
Shehu, who spoke on phone, said with the discovery of more mineral resources, there would be huge increase in revenue for the government, and development in the states where minings are taking place.
The mineral resources would attract foreign earnings, which would go a long way in assisting the economy to withstand the pressure on it. Therefore, the earlier the roadmap was implemented and minings kicked off, the better for the economy, he added.
He said: “On the whole, we hope that the mining industry considering the development that is coming up will be in a position to assist the government in terms of revenue generation and also for massive employment for Nigerians.
“We are expecting the implementation of the provisions of the road map. We hope additional activities would be created in the sector and with the discovery of mineral resources many parts of the country that would encourage foreign investors to come and invest in the country.”
He urged the government to resolve the issues of licence renewal, collection of revenue from miners, multiple taxation, adding that it is only the ministry that can collect royalty and other taxes and levies from the sector.
There is also inter-agency rivalry between some of these agencies, such as environmental levies. He said regulatory issues had also been a very big challenge, adding the association does not have any statutory power to handle it. He urged the government to streamline the regulatory agencies that oversee the mining sector.
He said the association would continue to support the government efforts to grow the sector as well as re-orientate its members in harnessing the benefits accruable in the industry.
He said: “We intend to grow ourselves and to grow the industry, we want to create activities in the mining sector and we want to go mechanised,” adding that manual mining will not take the industry anywhere.
‘’We also facilitate international visits for our members to South Africa, China, Canada and other parts of the world in search of improved ways of mining as well as organising visits with foreign investors.
‘’The body has been able to solve some community issues and is actively sensitising people on the need to mine in line with international best practices, among others.