Abuja – Nigeria’s mining sector as at July, 2017 generated over N2bn which has surpassed the entire revenue of N2bn generated in 2016, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has announced.
Dr. Kayode, who announced this in Abuja, at the Maiden Edition of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development, said the sector has largely contributed to the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.
He added that the ministry has secured approval to access N30 billion from the Natural Resources Intervention Fund for the promotion of the exploration of new minerals and to strengthen the regulatory capacity of the Ministry as well as $150bn loan from the World Bank to commence Mindiver Project.
“It is however encouraging noting that our efforts have begun yielding desired results. For example, one highlight of the Roadmap is to achieve, through stakeholders’ engagement, an increasing amount of Mining contribution to GDP, and the delivery of shared prosperity to all stakeholders in all aspects of the Mining Value Chain (Exploration, Mining, Beneficiation and Trade).
“Already, we achieved a 300% increase in revenue (royalties and fees) between 2015 and 2016, and as at July of this year, the sector had already surpassed the entire revenue of N2 billion generated for the whole of 2016.
“We have operationalised the Nigerian Solid Minerals Development Fund to provide financing to projects in the sector. In collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BOI), the SMFD has lunched a N5 Billion fund to provide single digit interest loans.
“Also, we have secured approval for access to N30 Billion from the Natural Resources Intervention for the promotion of the exploration of new minerals and to strengthen the regulatory capacity of the Ministry.
” The Ministry throughout has secured a $150 Million loan from the World Bank to commence the Mindiver Project aimed at funding strategic interventions in the sector.
“Plans are also underway to assemble a $600 Million investment fund for the sector, working with entities such as the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and others”, the Minister said.
Dr. Kayode disclosed that Federal Government has now taken the ownership the Ajaokuta Steel Company and NIOMCO, following the resolution of the protracted legal disputes between the Federal Government and Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (GNIL).
He said both parties signed a ‘Modified Concession Agreement’ resolving their protracted dispute on the two companies located in Kogi State.
“With this development, both NIOMCO and Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited have now reverted to the Federal Government Nigeria, and we can now proceed to engage a new core investor with the financial and technical capacity to run the steel complex.
“The operation of ASC will provide the needed inputs to support the infrastructure requirements of the country and lead to import substitution, and save the country about $3.3 billion annually spent on the importation of steel products,”.
Earlier the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Mohammad Bello, advise the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to forge close collaboration with the State Governments and host communities to maximize the benefit of mining as the country was reaping the gains of the sector.
Also speaking on behalf of host mining communities, the Gbong Gwom Jos and Chairman, Plateau Council of Chiefs, HRH Jacob Gyang Buba stressed the need to protect the health and lives of people in communities where mining is taking place to save them from diseases like cancer.
The maiden edition of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development, which held in Abuja, was themed ‘enhancing mineral resources governance towards economic growth and diversification’.