Nigeria earns N43.2b from solid minerals

The Federal Government earned a total of N43.22billion in 2016 from solid minerals sector, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), said yesterday.

According to the highlights of the 2016 audit report of the solid minerals sector released by NEITI, taxes collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) accounted for N40.38 billion or 93.43per cent, while fees collected by the Mining Cadastral Office stood at N1.15 billion or 2.66 per cent.The Mining Inspectorate Department (MID) recorded N1.64 billion as royalty payments, an increase of 30.15percent over the N1.27 billion reported as royalty payments in 2015.

According to a statement endorsed by its Director of Communications and Advocacy, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, the audit was conducted under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) principles and standard reconciled payments made by mining firms in terms of taxes, royalty and rents against

From the report, minerals production by companies showed that three companies – Dangote Cement Plc, West African Portland Cement Plc, and United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited (UNICEM) contributed 70per cent of total production in 2016. This shows that the cement sub-sector is still dominant in solid minerals production activities.

Further analysis of production by minerals types shows that limestone was the most produced mineral and accounted for 49.35percent of the total solid minerals production in 2016, followed by granite with 31.32percent. The least contributions were made by gypsum, iron, talc and amethyst with 0.1per cent each.

The report also revealed that the solid minerals sector’s contribution to exports stood at N11.16 billion, representing 3.38per cent of the N330.01 billion for non-oil exports and 0.13 per cent of total export of N8.53trillion.

From the report, China was a major destination of Nigeria’s solid minerals, accounting for 53.63per cent, followed by Spain and India which accounted for 26.48per cent and 8.90per cent respectively.

The report put the Free on Board (FoB) value of the solid minerals exported at $40.934 million while the overall contribution of the sector to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was put at N87.61billion representing 0.13per cent of the total GDP of N67.9 trillion.

The sector has witnessed a steady, even if marginal increase in its contribution to the GDP from 0.11per cent in 2014, 0.12per cent in 2015 to 0.13per cent in 2016. The sector also contributed 0.3per cent to national employment.

The report also showed that a total of 4,575 valid minerals titles spread across the various states of the federation were recorded. This comprises 1,751 Exploration Licensces, 208 Mining Leases, 1,563 Quarry Leases, and 1,053 Small Scale Mining Leases.

Out of the total valid titles in the MCO register, 1,465 titles were issued in 2016 while 1,030 were revoked and 14 were transferred. The report further stated that 315 Exploration Licences were issued in respect of the priority minerals identified by government. The priority minerals are gold, lead-zinc, baryte, iron-ore, bitumen, limestone, and coal.

The report further showed that some title holders entered into memorandum of understanding (MoUs) with other companies without duly informing the relevant government agencies. As a result, out of the 651 operators that paid royalties, 312 companies representing 48per cent were not recorded in the MCO register either as valid, revoked or transferred titles for the year.

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