The Federal Government has inaugurated a 14-man ministerial committee focused on closing leakages, tackling illegal mining and enhancing generated revenue from the mining sector.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, who inaugurated the committee on the ‘Optimization of revenue from mineral resources sector’ recently in Abuja, charged the members to carefully record artisanal mining activities that are geared towards revenue generation.
Adegbite said, “The Committee is to ensure that revenue generated from artisanal miners’ activities are recorded and work out ways to block leakages from illegal mining accruals.
“Blockage of mineral revenue leakages and proper recording would boost the economy and encourage more people to go into mining which would lift the masses out of poverty. So far, the mineral sector contributes about one percent to the GDP, and according to the roadmap, we are hoping that by 2025, we can raise this to about 5 percent.
“The country has over 44 minerals. If we can harness that, it will increase the revenue base of the country. There are activities going on in this sector by the artisanal miners which are not recorded. These are not captured in the revenue of government. They account for about 95 percent of what is mined and exported.
“Inaugurating a committee like this, they will look at those avenues of leakages and come up with policies and action plan and look at that,”
Chairman of the committee, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, said it is a matter of great concern that the solid mineral sector with its great potential is contributing less than N4 billion revenue annually.
“Permit me to use this opportunity to warn those that are in the habit of making false declaration of their mineral production or engage in other forms of sharp practices with the intention of evading revenue payment that their days in perpetuating such unpatriotic practices are over.” Ogah said
Others members are; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu; Director-General Mining Cadastre Office, Engr. Obadain Nkom; Representative of Nigerian Society of Mining Engineers; Representative of Nigerian Society of Engineers; Representative of Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
Others are Mining Consultant, Engr. J.O Adeyemo; Representative of Miners Association of Nigeria; Representative of Civil Explosives Dealers Association of Nigeria; Head Mining Group, ACCI, Alh. Sani Shehu; Director, Finance, and Accounts of the Ministry; Director, ASM; Director, IPMT; and Director, MI.