The government of Nigeria has declared the country as a destination for mining investments courtesy of the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP).
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite made the announcement and said the country is attracting attention from both local and foreign investors while the financial sector has also begun to support activities in the mining sector.
“NIMEP is a government programme to show the way, but the money is still very small and the $50 million we had, we were only be able to do four minerals out of the 44 minerals discovered. Exploration is a very huge capital intensive project so the $50 million could only target four minerals. What we want to do is that the results from this NIMEP initiative would be sold through auction to have a revolving fund, so that the money that comes back from this would be used for further exploration,” said Adegbite.
He noted that solid minerals exports in Q4, 2021 stood at N13.56 billion, a decrease of 25.95% compared to Q3, 2021 but increased by 201.41% when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2020.
“These are confirmations about the potentials in the solid minerals sector yet untapped,” he bemoaned.
He recommended that the need for the federal government to establish a robust fiscal framework, saying that the existing fiscal framework for investors in the mining sector is not friendly enough and does not consider the peculiar nature of the sector, particularly, its long gestation period.
“Therefore, Nigeria will need to revisit the entire fiscal framework for the taxation of mining operations, to attract mining majors and foreign investors,” he said.
Additionally, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) emphasised the need for Nigeria to address its worsening insecurity across mineral-rich communities in the Northern region and other mining communities, lamenting that insecurity has continued to undermine production and investment in the sector.