By Zakaa Lazarus
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Wednesday Revealed that revenue received from the mining sector has continued to increase despite an estimated $9 billion lost to leakages in the sector.
The Executive Secretary, NEITI Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji in his remark at the opening of a two-day workshop organized in collaboration with Global Rights on promoting transparency, fiscal accountability and national development in Nigeria’s solid minerals industry governance in Abuja, said audit report of the sector which would be released next week also showed increased revenue from the sector.
The NEITI Boss however noted that while growing revenue from the sector was important, profit making, taxes and royalties collection should not be elevated at “the expense of vulnerable groups in the minerals-bearing communities”.
Dr. Orji further explained that for Nigeria to attract global big players into the sector, it must put in place “a sector specific fiscal regime with loads of incentives”.
In her remark, Country Director, Global Rights, Ms Abiodun Baiyewu said the meeting was “aimed at strengthening and increasing engagements between civil society actors and the government, on ensuring fiscal justice in Nigeria’s solid minerals governance and has as one of its hallmark features engagement with oversight institutions tasked with fostering transparency and fiscal justice in Nigeria Extractive industry”.
Also speaking at the workshop, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite in his key note address, lamented the huge leakage caused by the high activities of illegal miners.
Adegbite disclosed that one of the key priorities of the Nigerian government is to enhance the diversification of the economy to a broader range of productive sectors, noting that in this context, agriculture and the mining sector have been identified by the current government of President Muhammadu Buhari as potential sources of growth for the future.
He said: “Unfortunately in Nigeria, despite the country’s resource potential and it’s past experience as a significant mineral producer of tin, columbite and coal, the sector today has one of the lowest outputs in the Nigerian economy”.
The Minister pointed out that the country continues to struggle to become a significant player in most of the core global mining commodities.