A recent report has shown that Nigeria earned a total of N69.2 billion from the solid minerals sector in 2015, representing 24percent increase over the N55.8 billion earned by the country from the sector in 2014.
This is according to the latest independent audit report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). Nigeria is an implementing member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which advocates for transparency and accountability in extractive resources by member countries.
The audit report further revealed that the total production of solid minerals in the country in 2015 was 39.27 million tons, a decline of 17percent from the 47.1 million tons produced in 2014. However, while mineral production reduced, government revenues went up, the report showed.
“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,” it explained.
NEITI’s previous solid minerals audit reports had recommended upward review of Nigeria’s royalty rates to align with prevailing industry and present day realities.
In the year under review, Nigeria’s value of solid minerals exports was $9.733 million, the sector contributed a minimal 0.12percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, with a total of 4,305 valid mineral titles.
To sustain the growth and enhance the sectors capacity, the report recommended an improvement of the economic value of Nigeria’s minerals across the value chain before export, a ban on the importation of some minerals like gypsum, barite and kaolin which the country has in good quality and quantity, speedy release of the approved N30 billion solid minerals development fund to the intended beneficiaries and a reduction on the activities of illegal miners.