By Kelvin Alohan
The Senate on Wednesday directed the review of all laws relating to mining businesses in Nigeria, as a matter of urgency.
According to the Senate this will ensure an upward review of rates applied to royalties, ground rent and licenses renewal of all mining companies operating in Nigeria.
The review according to the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, will further entrench transparency in the collection of revenue by relevant agencies, as well as recommend stringent sanctions in proposed new laws to address illegal mining.
Lawan stated this during the passing of the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) during which the Senate approved N13.98trillion 2022 Budget.
It also approved the daily crude oil production of 1.88million barrels per day (mbpd), 2.23mbpd, and 2.22mbpd for 2022, 2023 and 2024 respectively.
The Senate also charged the Federal Government to urgently implement the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) recently assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, in order to curtail the problems of smuggling and round-tripping of petroleum products imported into the country and other irregularities in the petroleum sector.
In addition, the chamber recommended that the proposed budget of Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) be reviewed upward to show the reflection of their capabilities to generate more revenue as a result of the findings of the Joint Committee.
According to the chamber, the Act establishing some MDAs such as – Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), National Lottery Trust Fund Act, Bank of Industry Act, Bank of Agriculture Act, Energy Commission Act and Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Commission – if reviewed and amended as a matter of urgency, would assist to generate more revenue to the coffers of government.
It also recommended that the Federal Government budget be purged of some agencies such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, which has demonstrated capacity to stand on their own, without any recourse to budgetary allocations.
Consequently, it further recommended that the offices of the Accountant General (AGF), Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) and Fiscal Responsibility Commission be strengthened in the area of staffing and proper funding of its activities to ensure optimal performance of their duties in order to adequately monitor the remittances of all government revenue.