The Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, (NEITI) said Nigeria exported solid minerals worth 9.733 million dollars and earned N69.2 billion from the sector in 2015.
NEITI, on its latest independent audit report of the solid minerals sector released on Sunday in Abuja said it was an increase of 24 per cent on the N55.8 billion earned from the sector in 2014.
It also disclosed that the value of solid minerals exports from Nigeria in 2015 stood at 9.733 million dollars, which was 1.45 per cent of non-oil exports.
It noted that lead and zinc dominated Nigeria’s solid minerals export with 79 per cent valued at 7.7 million dollars, while 175 ounces of gold valued at 122,000 dollars were exported during the period.
It said that the solid minerals sector contributed 0.12 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015, a marginal increase of 0.01 per cent on the 0.11 per cent contribution of the sector to GDP in 2014.
The report added that the total production of solid minerals in the country stood at 39.27 million tons, representing a reduction of 17 per cent from the 47.1 million tons produced in 2014.
It attributed the drop in production in 2015 to insecurity in parts of the country and the more stringent approval process for explosives used in mining.
However, the NEITI report noted that while mineral production reduced, government revenues went up in the same year.
“This increase in revenue was due to the growth in taxes collected from the sector and review of royalty rates paid by companies which came into effect within the year under review.”
The report noted that its previous solid minerals audit reports had recommended upward review of Nigeria’s royalty rates to align with prevailing industry and present day realities.
The report also highlighted the specific contributions by companies and states to the sector revenue growth and development.