A Canadian company, Thor Explorations Limited has renewed interest in boosting Nigeria’s efforts to persuade investors that it could become a mining destination for metals in West Africa.
While gold miners face the death of new discoveries across the globe, the Vancouver-based firm, which is listed on Toronto Stock Exchange, is interested in joining a rush for the commodity in Africa, seeing Nigeria as a new frontier.
What it means
The most populous nation in Africa could be on the cusp of getting its first industrial-scale gold mine from Thor that is developing a project capable of producing 80,000 ounces per year in Osun State, Nigeria targeting to start operations early 2021.
Also, Africa Finance Corporation, which is backed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and a group of local banks, is investing in the Thor project through a $78 million debt-equity financing package.
Head, Natural Resources, AFC, Osam Iyahem, said, “The project, which is low-hanging fruit, would prove to the Nigerian government and the international financing community that mining can be a viable proposition in Nigeria.”
Chief Executive Officer, Thor Exploration, Segun Lawson, disclosed that Nigeria’s reputation poses a major obstacle for traditional mining financiers.
He said, “When I presented this project, it was very difficult to even get meetings with investors, let alone convince them to put money in it. Nigeria is not a known mining jurisdiction.”
Where Nigeria stands
Mining made up between 4% and 5% of Nigeria’s gross domestic product in the 1960s and 1970s before foreign operators left the country and oil dominated the government’s agenda for obvious reasons. Now, metal ores account for less than 0.1%, while crude exploration makes up 8% to 10% of GDP and brings in 90% of export earnings.
Call for law reform
Experts have called on the government to reform its laws to encourage investors to carry out exploration throughout the country as witnessed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia in the early 2000s.
A mining analyst at South Africa-based Mergence Corporate Solutions, Peter Major, said, “After both countries dramatically altered their legislation, mining and exploration investment exploded.”
Going forward: However, the Federal Government has promised to increase mining’s contribution to GDP to 3% by 2025.
Minister of Mines and steel development, Olamilekan Adegbite, explained that the government is building a databank to provide easy access to prospective investors on potential areas to target for exploration and has also put in place incentives, including a tax holiday of as long as five years for projects entering production and the removal of import duties on mining equipment.
He said, “As gold producers and prospectors are pouring money into the region, larger mines than Thor’s have either recently commenced production or are scheduled to do so early next decade in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Ghana. The share of exploration investment that Nigeria has so far attracted is “abysmally low.
“Africa’s largest oil producer has sizeable untapped deposits of metals including iron ore, gold, zinc and lead but almost all extraction is done on a small-scale or manual basis. These are people who hardly pay any revenue to government.”
Thor Explorations Limited is a gold exploration company with a focus on early-stage gold exploration projects located in highly prospective underexplored regions of West Africa.
Thor Explorations (“Thor”) aims to increase its shareholder value through the development of its prospective exploration and development portfolio which were acquired through a continued selection of high-quality projects.
Focusing on West Africa, Thor evaluates existing and under-explored highly prospective geological regions of West Africa, seeking to access opportunities early on in the exploration value chain.
Thor trades on the TSX Venture Exchange (Toronto Stock Exchange) under the symbol “THX”.
Nigeria to fix irregular power supply in 40 years- Senate
Four decades is needed due to underfunding and the FG’s failure to fix the challenges of electricity generation.
The Nigerian Senate has said that it will take Nigeria 40 years to fix irregular power supply.
This was disclosed by the Senate Committee on Power on Tuesday after the Minister of Power and his team made a presentation to the Committee, according to Guardian.
The four decades wait, according to the lawmakers, is due to underfunding and the Federal Government’s failure to fix the challenges of electricity generation.
The committee was astonished by the submission of the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, that of the N165billion required for capital projects in 2020, N4billion was given as bribe of which only N3billion was cash-backed.
In lieu of this, the Committee dismissed claims made by the minister over raising hope on early provision of constant power supply, while Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, painted a gloomy picture during the ministry’s budget defense.
A member of the Committee, Danjuma Goje, expressed concern that based on Abdulaziz’s presentation, N165billion was proposed, but the ministry gave N4billion in envelope, insisting that it would take 41 years to deliver constant electricity when N165billion is divided by N4billion.
Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported that it will take nothing less than $100 billion to enable stable power supply in Nigeria.
What they are saying
Mr. Danjuma expressed pessimism over hopes of stable power supply in the country. He went as far as stressing that even if ongoing projects are being completed there is still no hope for stable transmission of power in the country.
Mr. Danjuma was quoted as saying: “Going by the minister’s presentation that transmission gas increased from 5000 to 8000 megawatts, it is not enough. When dishing out figures, we should bear in mind that capacity, transmission, and distribution have increased and that Nigerians, manufacturers, and industrialists want to see stable electricity.”
#EndSARS: ECOWAS calls for protesters to remain peaceful in their demonstrations
ECOWAS has called on protesters to be peaceful in conducting their protests.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has called on protesters to be peaceful in conducting their protests and urged Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of protests.
This was disclosed in a statement by the organization on Tuesday and comes on the heels of statements by other International bodies and personalities, who have expressed worry over the nature of brutality meted on protesters, especially after the Lekki shootings.
— ECOWAS-CEDEAO (@ecowas_cedeao) October 27, 2020
“ECOWAS Commission notes with concern that demonstrations by Nigerian youth calling for Police reforms, particularly the abolition of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police force, accused of misconduct by those demonstrating, have turned violent,” they said.
The body said it recognizes the right to peaceful protests and also called for protesters to be peaceful, due to the rising reported cases of lootings post protests during the curfews.
“While ECOWAS recognizes the right of citizens to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and protests, it also wishes to stress that those rights should be exercised in a nonviolent manner.
“In this regard, ECOWAS calls on all protesters to remain peaceful in the conduct of their demonstrations. It also urges the Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of the protests and act professionally.”
The tone of ECOWAS’ message is different compared to the rest of other stakeholders including the statement of the Lagos State Governor, House of Reps Speaker, and the Vice President, who all acknowledged that the protests were peaceful and the protesters were attacked and that the violence from the curfews was not done by the protesters but by hoodlums.
The ECOWAS message is also the first statement by West Africa’s most important regional body since the #EndSARS protests started in the first week of October.
Kano State presents N147.9 billion budget for 2021 fiscal year
Governor Ganduje has presented the total sum of N147.9 billion as Kano State’s proposed budget for 2021 fiscal year.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has presented the total sum of N147.9 billion as its proposed budget for 2021 fiscal year before the Kano State House of Assembly today.
Presenting the budget tagged “Budget for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development,”Governor Ganduje said the budget is in furtherance of his administration’s vision for diversification of the state sources of revenue which will engineer development in the future.
Backstory: Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported the drive and optimism by Kano State government to boost its Internally Generated Revenue. This might probably explain why IGR increased by almost 10% between 2020 allocations and proposed estimates for 2021.
What you should know: The breakdown of the budget verified by Nairametrics showed the following key highlights:
- The total budget increased by approximately 7.0% from N138.279 billion in 2020 to N147.935 billion in 2021.
- Capital expenditure for the periods under view increased by 10.93% from N60.485 billion to N67.095 billion.
- Recurrent expenditure also increased from N77.79 billion to N80.839 billion, indicating a 3.92%. increase for the periods under view.
- Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) increased by approximately 10% from N24 billion to N26.395 billion during the period under view.
- A breakdown of the budget showed that the Education sector has over N37 Billion representing 25% of the total budget while the health care delivery service has over N25 Billion representing 17% of the total budget.