All states providing solid minerals will henceforth earn 13 percent derivation mining revenue, the Federal Ministry of Mines, Steel and Development has said.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Abass Mohammed, disclosed this on Tuesday in Benin, Edo State, at a two-day Sensitization and Enlightenment Workshop for stakeholders in the mining sector, tagged: “Functions of Solid Minerals Development Fund and How it will Intervene in the Mining Sector.”
Mohammed, who was represented at the event by Alhaji Sanusi Asiru, a Director in a the Ministry, said the Ministry was working with State Governors to revive the mining sector so that all the key governance provisions of the Mining Act will be implemented.
He urged states to derive commercial means to co-invest alongside private companies with a view to bringing mining assets to the market for faster and more profitability.
The Permanent Secretary further disclosed that the Ministry has put in place plans to establish a Council of Mining and Mineral Resources that will hold its meeting at least once a year with Commissioners responsible for mining and natural resources at the states, as well as other relevant government officials at the Federal level, academia, industries and civil society.
He called on the government to increase the yearly budgetary allocation to the sector as well as make available intervention fund from the Natural Resources Development Fund (NRDF) and International Development partners through the World Bank.
He said the Ministry was aiming to provide a platform that would drive development in the country stating that the future of mining was very bright, adding stakeholders must take the opportunity in the sector to attract local and international investors.
“We are creating the appropriate environment to support enterprises but that will require locally building technical and managerial skills and capabilities to ensure the steady supply of talent required by the sector in the future.
“We have rightly identified as one of our priorities the need to improve our engagement of stakeholders at the sub-national level particularly state governments and communities. We realise that in order to give the states good reason to work with us we need to create avenues for a greater degree of financial participation and revenue sharing.
“Accordingly, we have been able to secure approval for state governments to be beneficiaries of thirteen percent derivation from mining revenue. This is a significant shift that signpost our commitment to facilitating a win-win situation for all stakeholders,” he said.
In his opening remarks, the Secretary of Solid Minerals Development Fund, Alhaji Mahe Ahmed, said the inability of the government to create a framework for the mining sector has led to its dwindling fortune for over 45 years.
Ahmed said that the virgin mineral resources which are yet to be utilized is capable of generating major economic activities, especially in this time of oil price fall and also help in generating revenue for other sectors of the country.
He said; “Unfortunately, in the approximately, forty-five years of decline of the country’s mining sector we have been unable to articulate a framework which the sector would viably stand and operate and as such we have missed out on various opportunities to capitalize on the up surging of commodity process. Thus we have a mixed situation of relatively virgin mineral fields and yet a lack of appreciable national economic contribution from the field.
“A well developed mining industry is capable of generating major economic activities to stimulate growth with great potentials for engendering huge revenues to address developmental challenges in other critical sectors such as education, health, agriculture, transportation and infrastructures.”
Source: African Spotlight