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.
COVID-19: World Bank to Support Nigerian Frontline Healthcare Workers With $114.28m
World Bank Strengthens Nigerian Response to COVID-19
The World Bank has once again approved another $114.28 million financing for Nigeria to improve its COVID-19 response time and further curb the spread of the virus in Africa’s most populous nation.
The multilateral financial institution said the money will help Africa’s largest economy prevent, detect and respond to the threat of ravaging COVID-19 better.
In a statement titled “Nigeria to boost states capacity for COVID-19 response” and released on Friday, the lender said the fund includes $100 million credit facility from the International Development Association and $14.28 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.
The statement reads, “Through the COVID-19 preparedness and response project (CoPREP), the government of Nigeria will provide grants to 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as immediate support to break the chain of COVID-19 local transmission and limit the spread of coronavirus through containment and mitigation strategies.”
The lender, however, stated that grants for states would be based on the adoption of COVID-19 measures and strategies. In particular, the strategies must be in line with the ones put in place by the Federal Government.
“CoPREP will enhance the institutional and operational capacity for disease detection through provision of technical expertise, coordination support, detection, diagnosis and case management efforts in all states and the FCT as per the WHO guidelines in the strategic response plan,” it stated.
The bank added that it would help the Federal Government in such response capacity through the training of frontline healthcare workers and provision of the necessary equipment to aid their work, strengthen public healthcare network for emergencies and generally improve their response efficiency.
Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director, Nigeria said, “Nigeria has ramped up its efforts to contain the COVID -19 outbreak, but more needs to be done at the state level, which are at the frontline of the response.”
Mismanagement of Public Funds and Resources Will Destroy Nigeria, Says Stakeholders
Some concerned stakeholders have said the broad-based financial misappropriation, abuse of public office by Public Officeholders and unchecked borrowing will destroy the nation’s present and future if not checked.
According to Auwal Musa, the Executive Director, CISLAC, who spoke at a stakeholders’ dialogue on ‘Policies, Gaps and Alternatives in Fiscal Transparency in Private Sector Governance,’ organised by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and Transparency International (TI), with support from OXFAM’s country office in Nigeria, abuse of power and financial recklessness as been going on for far too long.
Musa said, “This has been going on for too long, and every singular effort from the citizens is termed as hate or unpatriotic. Meanwhile, the consequences of this anomaly are staring us in the face on a daily basis and are on the increase. Increased poverty; banditry allegedly occasioned by rising unemployment; and unpatriotic citizens trooping into leadership positions to perpetuate the looting and misappropriation due to no oversight and punitive sanctions, not to mention health, infrastructure and societal decay. The list is inexhaustible.”
He also implored the Government that in order to reduce the excessive misuse of public resources, mismanagement of finances and strengthen the financial management system, the holes that encourage people to evade and undermine the collection of taxes must be bridged and in-depth economic improvement devised to close policy gaps.
“There are many areas in which the government can increase its revenue drive. For instance, in the Oil and Gas sector, there are a lot of gaps as a result of lack of a clear legal framework through the PIB, which will enable the sector to be more efficient, transparent and competitive. Again, the oil theft needs to be blocked; other areas like maritime revenue can be harnessed in these sectors.
“Also, the government should block the areas where revenues are supposed to be collected and are not collected. For instance, the audit report clearly shows how the government is losing revenue.” he said.
The stakeholders urge policymakers to look for other sources of revenue that can guarantee development in Nigeria.
Also, speaking at the event was the Programme Manager, Tax, Justice, Environment and Conservation of Nature, CISLAC, Chinedu Bassey, who said one of the reasons to strengthen the Nigerian financial management system is to stop people from stealing and mismanaging resources meant for development.
Iheme Madukairo, the Manager, Large Tax Audit, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), advised Nigerians who evade taxes to stop such act that the law will take its course.
He said “Enforcement is out there, sleeves are rolled up to do the job that we are mandated to do by the act and sooner or later, we will catch up with them. The sanctions have also increased by virtue of the finance act. The penalty has been increased, once it is found out that it is a deliberate act to breach the law, the law will take its course.”
Lai Mohammed Says Buhari Has Recovered Over N800bn in Looted Funds
Buhari Has Recovered Over N800bn in Looted Funds
President Muhammadu Buhari government has recovered over N800 billion looted by corrupt Nigerians since the beginning of this administration in 2015.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, disclosed this on Tuesday at a press conference held in Abuja.
He said, “This administration’s fight against corruption is as strong as ever, and we have the records to back up this claim.
“This administration has recorded over 1,400 convictions, including high profile ones, and recovered funds in excess of N800bn, not to talk of forfeiture of ill-gotten properties.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has made recovery of Nigeria’s stolen assets one of his priorities since he became president in 2015.
Several of Nigeria’s untouchables have been convicted despite political experts and social commentators saying the war against corruption should not be only against opposition but also against those in the ruling party that seems to have been overlooked.
Still, the ruling party has insisted that members of the party have been convicted and one of such is Kalu.
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